The Federal Aviation Administration will step up its oversight of Boeing’s production and manufacturing, the agency said Friday, a day after announcing it was launching an investigation.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
The FAA says it will audit Boeing’s 737-9 Max production line and its suppliers “to evaluate Boeing’s compliance with approved quality procedures.”
The results of the initial audit will determine whether additional audits are needed, the agency said.
“Now is the time to re-examine the delegation of authority and assess any related security risks,” FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker said in a statement.
“The grounding of the 737-9 and the numerous production-related issues identified in recent years require us to consider every option to mitigate risk,” Whittaker said. “The FAA is exploring the use of an independent third party to inspect Boeing and monitor its quality system.”
An Alaska Airlines plane lands at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on January 6, 2024. David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The FAA is considering “increased monitoring of Boeing 737-9 MAX in-service events” as well as “assessing the security risks around delegated authority and quality oversight, and options to move these functions under independent, third-party entities.” Will also investigate. ,” according to the FAA.
The move comes a week after an Alaska Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing after a door plug fell off the fuselage in mid-air. The flight departed from Portland, Oregon for Ontario International Airport in San Bernardino County, California.
Passengers reported hearing a “loud bang” shortly after takeoff. A passenger photo shows a panel missing from the side of the fuselage.
Seven passengers on board the plane have sued the aerospace giant.
The class-action lawsuit, filed late Thursday in King County Superior Court in Washington state — where Boeing assembled the plane — argues the company “failed to properly secure the (door) plugs without properly securing Alaska Airlines, Inc. 737 MAX-9 subject delivered to. airframe,” or because the bolts and seals used to install the panel were defective.
A Boeing spokesman declined to comment Friday afternoon.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which included the 171 passengers and six-member flight crew aboard the plane, argue that they were both physically injured and traumatized by the January 5 incident, which occurred during the plane’s flight from Portland, Ore., to Ontario, Calif. It happened immediately after departure.
After the door plug burst, the plane lost pressure and “one boy’s shirt was torn and a cell phone, other debris and a lot of oxygen were expelled from the plane,” the lawsuit says.
“The violence of the incident left some people physically injured,” the lawsuit said. “The cockpit door opened and a flight attendant ran to try to close it. The pressure change caused bleeding from the ears and combined with low oxygen, loud wind noise and painful tension, severe head pain occurred. The travelers were stunned, frightened and confused, trapped in a nightmare, hoping that they would survive long enough to walk on Earth again.
The flight crew successfully returned and landed the aircraft at the Portland airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration has grounded all 171 Boeing 737 Max-9 airplanes from operating in the US amid an ongoing investigation by the agency and the National Transportation Safety Board. The FAA has not set a timeline for returning the aircraft to service, and said the planes will remain grounded “until the FAA determines that each aircraft can safely return to operation.”
The lawsuit, filed by the Strittmatter Kessler Kohler Moore law firm in Seattle, is the first civil action stemming from the incident filed so far.
Mark Lindquist, the head of another law firm in Washington, told NBC News that he represents three more passengers who plan to file a separate lawsuit over the incident.
The FAA said Thursday that “the incident should never have occurred” and that it would investigate whether Boeing “failed to ensure that the completed product conformed to its approved design and was in safe operating condition in compliance with FAA regulations.” “
Immediately after the incident, the FAA ordered a temporary grounding of some Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft for inspection.