Congressional committee blames Boeing, FAA for 737 Max plane crashes

A House committee has officially blamed Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration for the two 737 Max crashes that killed more than 300 people in 2018 and 2019. The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure blamed the airplane maker and the agency for “repeated and serious failures” in connection with the crashes.

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FAA, Boeing blamed in 737 Max crashes

The House committee released a report detailing its investigation into the Boeing 737 Max crashes. The report stated that investigators found evidence of failures at both Boeing and the FAA that "played instrumental and causative roles" in the crashes, which killed 346 people.

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The Democrat-controlled committee documented what it said was "a disturbing pattern of technical miscalculations and troubling management misjudgments by Boeing" and "numerous oversight lapses and accountability gaps by the FAA."

Officials were investigating the crashes of Lion Air Flight 610, which crashed in October 2018, and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which crashed in March 2019. In both crashes, the airplane was a Boeing 737 Max. Both crashes stemmed from the flight control system, which sent the planes repeatedly into nosedives that the pilots eventually couldn't pull out of.

The report also said the crashes were "a horrific culmination of a series of faulty technical assumptions by Boeing's engineers, a lack of transparency on the part of Boeing's management, and grossly insufficient oversight by the FAA."

Findings from the report

One of the key findings from the report, according to House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, is the fact that both the FAA and Boeing decided that the 737 Max's certification was compliant with FAA regulations. He said in a statement that the airplane complied with FAA regulations, but it wasn't safe.

He said this is "clear evidence that the current regulatory system is fundamentally flawed and needs to be repaired." The committee is now working on legislation to overhaul the certification process for aircraft and strengthen the FAA's oversight of plane manufacturers.

The investigation also found that Boeing employees were pressured to keep costs down and ensure that the development of the airplane was on schedule. Investigators ruled that the company pushed through the 737 Max's development too quickly so it could compete with the new Airbus A320neo.

In a statement following the release of the report, Boeing said it is "dedicated to doing the work" that's necessary to make improvements. Boeing also said it has "learned many hard lessons as a company" from the two 737 Max crashes. In its own statement, the FAA said it "looks forward to working with the Committee to implement improvements identified in its report."