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***** Evening news 4/7/19: Aviation world faces moment of reckoning after 737 MAX crashes
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News for you aviation world faces moment of reckoning after 737 max crashes it was a moment the aviation world had been waiting for since a second deadly crash grounded the 737 max fleet Boeing gathered hundreds of pilots airline executives and regulators to unveil a fix that would return the jetliner to the sky every time something happens we learn from it a senior Boeing official told reporters reflecting on lessons from the lion air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes less than five months apart that had killed nearly 350 people there are enough occurrences that happen accidents like we've just experienced in the week plus since that announcement it has become increasingly clear that the two accidents were not unfortunate when off occurrences the software change boeing touted would not be enough and the industry is facing a serious test of its mettle the challenges of crafting deeper more expensive fixes addressing structural deficiencies in the certification process and reassuring shaken fliers around the world have become more apparent Boeing has said that its software change needs additional weeks of work and has seemed to accept some responsibility for designing a system in need of improvement fueled in part by damning preliminary reports that show how starkly similar the two crashes were the moment of reckoning is challenging corporations regulators and investigators to take a critical look at the design and inspection of aircraft and question whether decisions and long-standing methods employed for practical reasons put the flying public at risk it's our responsibility to eliminate this risk Boeing CEO Dennis Muhlenberg said on Thursday we own it and we know how to do it his comments in a Boeing video followed the Ethiopian government's preliminary report describing the pilots of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 struggling on the morning of March 10th to control their 737 max eight during the six minute ill-fated flight according to Ethiopian crash investigators the pilots correctly followed procedures publicized after the lion air accident in October to disable a faulty computerized stabilization system that Boeing created to prevent planes from crashing but the planes speed and the clock worked against efforts Peter goals a former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board NTSB and a CNN aviation analyst said he sees evidence Boeing is now no longer primarily focused on returning the max to the skies but is working on regaining public trust in its latest most fuel-efficient version of the workhorse jet that Airlines had been lining up to buy I think clearly it has got through to Boeing goal said the Ethiopian report contained two recommendations first that Boeing developed a remedy and second a call that regulators scrutinized the fix before the release of the aircraft to operations questions of trust lay with the Federal Aviation Administration which has faced concerns from lawmakers of excessive coziness with Boeing due to the company's broad aerospace portfolio the federal government is both the regulator of Boeing and hires it for sensitive military contracts and complicated space operations the world's most famous aircraft Air Force one is after all a Boeing jet the FAA created with the dual mission of regulating and promoting the aviation industry has defended its decision to keep the 737 max flying while other aviation authorities around the world ordered it grounded Acting Administrator Daniel Elwell bristled when members of Congress asked him why other countries had acted sooner by proactively pulling it from service Elwell defended the u.s. and Canadian authorities as awaiting evidence calling them the first countries to ground the aircraft with data the FAA decisions have shaken confidence in the FAA the gold standard for aviation safety said Transportation Department Inspector General Calvin Scoville while Lee Theo pian and Indonesian investigators continue to probe the circumstances of those crashes multiple investigations in the United States are casting a wide net a long-standing practice that has allowed both plane and part makers to certify their own work as meeting air worthiness standards is coming under scrutiny House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio said he has many serious questions surrounding the Boeing 737 max and the FAA certification process he said the Inspector General has opened a probe and a special dot Advisory Committee will review the procedures for the certification of new aircraft prosecutors with the Justice Department have subpoenaed documents including from former Boeing employees the FAA has formed its own international review into the 737 max automated flight control system for all the reviews some are wondering what will change when the public's attention moves on the FAA will still be left with a mandate to delegate some certification decisions to the manufacturers former faa chief of staff Michael Goldfarb told CNN it's one thing he said for Congress to criticize the system it put into law but another for it to fund enough FAA inspectors to oversee manufacturer decisions it's been hard for the agency FAA to keep pace with pay and private industry Goldfarb said the NTSB with power to recommend safety changes but not require them is reviewing the organizational delegation authority chairman Roberts some Walt said Friday we would not really be doing our job if we weren't making sure that those aspects were being looked at some Walt said he said the board has the power to make conclusions separate from the Ethiopian and Indonesian investigations of which it is a part Goldfarb said the FAA and its worldwide counterparts would be smart to assemble for a regulatory summit to evaluate the 737 max before it returns to service confidence in the agency has been hurt since its delayed decision to ground the max he said goals the former NTSB leader sees signs in Boeing's latest comments and the decision to put more work into the software change that Boeing and FAA are moving in the right direction I think the top priority is to make sure that this aircraft is 100% safe secondly to make sure that the pilots who fly it have the information and the skills to fly it safely even in difficult situations Goel said then thirdly to convince the public prove to the public that they've done everything in their power to make this safe again convincing the flying public may be the most difficult task of all among the defenders of the Macs were the pilots who flew them who in some cases reacted to the Ethiopian report by calling for additional review of what went wrong in the wake of the tragic loss of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 on Sunday people around the world are jumping to conclusions about the Boeing 737 max the Allied Pilots Association which represents pilots of American Airlines said on Thursday afternoon federal and international authorities have just begun to look into Sunday's accident it is too early to determine possible causes and then there's those who sit behind the pilots in the weeks ahead travelers will need to decide if they are comfortable walking onto a 737 max buckling up and taking off