FAA announces harsh Boeing crackdown after fuselage ripped off its notorious 737 Max jet and says it believes there are ‘OTHER manufacturing problems’ at beleaguered aviation firm

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • The FAA  said they believe there are ‘other manufacturing problems’ at Boeing
  • Regulators previously said the Alaska Airlines near-catastrophe should not have happened and ‘cannot happen again’ 
  • The agency was previously slammed for allowing Boeing to conduct its own investigations

The Federal Aviation Administration has announced it will audit Boeing and its suppliers’ production line after the door of an Alaska Airlines aircraft blew off mid-air.

The agency will significantly increase oversight of Boeing, with the head of the agency saying publicly that they believe there are ‘other manufacturing problems’ at the company.

It comes a day after the regulating agency announced an investigation into Boeing and said the near catastrophe should not have happened and ‘cannot happen again.’

In its Thursday statement, the FAA said that it had informed Boeing it is conducting an investigation to determine if the aircraft maker failed ‘to ensure completed products conformed to its approved design and were in a condition for safe operation.’

‘The safety of the flying public, not speed, will determine the timeline for returning the Boeing 737-9 Max to service,’ the FAA said.

The Federal Aviation Administration has announced it will audit Boeing and its suppliers’ production line after the door of an Alaska Airlines aircraft blew off mid-air 

It comes a day after the regulating agency announced an investigation into Boeing and said the near catastrophe should not have happened and 'cannot happen again'

It comes a day after the regulating agency announced an investigation into Boeing and said the near catastrophe should not have happened and ‘cannot happen again’ 

The FAA added that the results of the audit ‘will determine whether additional audits are necessary.’

‘We will cooperate fully and transparently with the FAA and the NTSB on their investigations,’ Boeing said in a statement. 

The agency was previously slammed for letting Boeing conduct its own investigations after two deadly crashes involving Boeing’s 737 Max 8.

It has now said it would reexamine its decision to delegate some responsibilities to Boeing and consider moving some functions under independent, third-party entities.

After last Friday’s horrifying incident, the FAA grounded 171 Boeing jets installed with the same panel after the landing, most of which are operated by Alaska Airlines and United Airlines, pending safety inspections. 

The Alaska Airlines aircraft, which had been in service for just eight weeks, took off from Portland, Oregon last Friday and was flying at 16,000 feet when the panel tore off the plane. Pilots returned the jet to Portland, with only minor injuries suffered by passengers.

An emergency exit used as a cabin window blew out of the Alaskan Airlines flight from Portland to California at 16,000 feet

An emergency exit used as a cabin window blew out of the Alaskan Airlines flight from Portland to California at 16,000 feet

The flight that was set out to arrive at Ontario International in California turned back around after the plug door came off on Friday night

The flight that was set out to arrive at Ontario International in California turned back around after the plug door came off on Friday night 

Video game designer Sean Bates assumed the phone had been dropped by a jogger when he found by the side of a road in rural Washington State because it didn't have a scratch on it

Video game designer Sean Bates assumed the phone had been dropped by a jogger when he found by the side of a road in rural Washington State because it didn’t have a scratch on it

Alaska Airlines and United Airlines , the other major U.S. carrier that operates 737 MAX 9 planes with that configuration, said they have found loose parts on multiple grounded aircraft during preliminary checks, raising new concerns about how Boeing’s best-selling jet family is manufactured.

The two carriers have canceled hundreds of flights since Saturday with the MAX 9 planes grounded.

Earlier this week, Boing CEO Dave Calhoun acknowledged errors by the planemaker as more than 170 jets remained grounded, telling staff the company would ensure an accident like the mid-air Alaska Airlines panel blowout ‘can never happen again.’

Calhoun’s remarks were Boeing’s first public acknowledgment of errors since a so-called door plug snapped off the fuselage of a nearly full 737 MAX 9 on Friday, leaving a gaping hole next to a miraculously empty seat. The problem-plagued aircraft’s 8 variant suffered two fatal crashes in 2017 and 2018 that were caused by its computers and which killed more than 300.

Calhoun said he had been ‘shaken to the bone’ by the accident, which rekindled pressure on Boeing over its troubled small plane family almost five years after a full-blown MAX safety crisis sparked by deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Boeing has previously faced scrutiny over its planes after the two deadly crashes involving the previous model of the 737 in 2018 and 2019.

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