The fatal crashes of two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft were the result of “repeated and serious failures” by Boeing and the FAA, according to a report published by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on Wednesday. Finding the accidents to be “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,” the committee called for Boeing to restore its focus on safety along with demanding that the FAA develop “a more aggressive certification and oversight structure.” The report (PDF) comes at the conclusion of the committee’s 18-month-long investigation into the design, development and certification of the grounded MAX.
“The Committee’s thorough investigation uncovered errors that are difficult to hear, but necessary to confront about the 737 MAX certification,” said Subcommittee on Aviation Chair Rick Larsen. “This report, combined with the findings and recommendations from the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines investigations, National Transportation Safety Board, Joint Authorities Technical Review and other entities, serves as a roadmap for changes to the FAA certification process.”
During the course of its investigation, the committee reports that it held five public hearings, interviewed more than 20 witnesses and obtained an estimated 600,000 pages of documents from Boeing, the FAA and other relevant parties. In addition, current and former Boeing and FAA employees were interviewed. The MAX was grounded in March 2019 following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019, and Lion Air Flight 610 on Oct. 29, 2018.