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US aviation regulators said on Friday that the 737 MAX 9 would remain grounded until Boeing provided additional data.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it wants to analyze data from inspections of an initial group of 40 of the 170 grounded planes before it decides whether to lift the flight ban it imposed after a horrific mid-air explosion of a fuselage section on an Alaska Airlines plane. Airlines. A flight.
“We are working to make sure something like this never happens again,” said FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker.
Boeing said earlier this week that it had provided instructions to airlines on how to inspect planes. But the FAA said it needed more information before signing off on the system, though it added that it was “encouraged by the comprehensive nature of Boeing's instructions for inspections and maintenance.”
United Airlines, which operates more Max 9 planes than any airline, said Friday it had canceled flights on the plane through Tuesday, giving it more time to maneuver as it braces for winter storms across much of the United States.
“By canceling this in advance, we are trying to create more certainty for our customers and more flexibility for our frontline teams to do their jobs,” the airline said.
Earlier Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration said it was considering whether to strip Boeing of its right to conduct some of its aircraft inspections of planes leaving its factories.
The move to review the oversight program, where Boeing employees certify aircraft safety on behalf of the Federal Aviation Administration, came due to the grounding of some 737 Max 9 planes following the mid-air accident over Oregon last Friday. The organization's so-called “classification license” had previously come under scrutiny when two Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes crashed in 2018 and 2019.
Whitaker said the FAA was “exploring” its options to use an independent third party to oversee inspections and quality controls of Boeing's aircraft.
“It is time to reconsider delegation of authority and assess any associated safety risks,” he said. “The grounding of the 737-9 and multiple production-related issues that have been identified in recent years [at Boeing] Requires us to consider every option to reduce risk.
The regulator also said it plans to increase its oversight of Boeing's production immediately. The Federal Aviation Administration opened an investigation on Thursday into whether planes manufactured by Boeing meet the specifications it set.
The FAA said it will review the 737 MAX 9 production line and its suppliers “to evaluate Boeing's compliance with approved quality procedures,” with additional audits as necessary.
Spirit AeroSystems, which supplies the Max fuselage, including the door panel section that came off the plane operated by Alaska Airlines, has been in the spotlight over the past year for quality lapses.
Connected door panel On Friday he arrived at the lab from the National Transportation Safety Board, which is part of the accident investigation.
Washington Senator Maria Cantwell A letter Yesterday to the Federal Aviation Administration questioning the agency's role in inspecting planes manufactured by Boeing. Cantwell said that a year ago she requested an audit in some areas of Boeing's production, and the regulator told her it was unnecessary.
“Recent incidents and events — including an expelled door seal on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 — raise questions about quality control at Boeing,” she said. “In sum, it appears that the FAA's oversight processes have been ineffective in ensuring that Boeing produces aircraft that are ready for safe operation.”
The FAA also said it would increase its monitoring of any disturbances to the Max 9 aircraft during operations. However, planes only operate outside US territory. There are about 215 planes worldwide — the Max 9 is the less popular variant of the Max 8, which has fewer seats — and the Federal Aviation Administration grounded 171 Boeing planes on Saturday after the accident involving Alaska Airlines Flight 1282.
The regulator on Friday reiterated what it has said throughout the week: “General aviation safety, not speed, will determine the timeline for returning the Boeing 737-9 MAX to service.”
“We welcome the FAA’s announcement and will cooperate fully and transparently with our organization,” Boeing said. We support all actions taken
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