'Absurd': NTSB chair blasts Boeing for failing to turn over records about mid-air blowout

Trending 1 month ago

Boeing has refused to show investigators who worked connected nan doorway plug that later blew disconnected a jetliner during formation successful January, nan chair of nan National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday.

The institution besides hasn’t provided archiving astir a repair occupation that included removing and reinstalling nan sheet connected nan Boeing 737 Max 9 — aliases moreover whether Boeing kept records — Jennifer Homendy told a Senate committee.

“It’s absurd that 2 months later we don’t person that,” Homendy said. “Without that information, that raises concerns astir value assurance, value management, information guidance systems” astatine Boeing.

Lawmakers seemed stunned.

“That is utterly unacceptable,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Boeing did not instantly respond to a petition for comment.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said she will inquire Boeing to cooperate pinch nan NTSB. Cantwell, who represents nan authorities wherever Max jetliners are assembled, noted that nan institution is simply a starring U.S. exporter and awesome defense contractor.

“We request to get this right,” she said. “We request to thief pinch nan investigation truthful we tin find retired what successful our strategy needs to beryllium improved.”

Boeing has been nether expanding scrutiny since the Jan. 5 incident in which a sheet that plugged a abstraction near for an other emergency doorway blew disconnected an Alaska Airlines Max 9. Pilots were capable to onshore safely, and location were nary injuries.

In a preliminary study past month, nan NTSB said 4 bolts that thief support nan doorway plug successful place were missing after nan sheet was removed truthful workers could repair adjacent damaged rivets past September. The rivet repairs were done by contractors moving for Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems, but nan NTSB still does not cognize who removed and replaced nan doorway panel, Homendy said Wednesday.

Homendy said Boeing has a 25-member squad led by a manager, but Boeing has declined repeated requests for their names truthful they tin beryllium interviewed by investigators. The head of nan squad is connected aesculapian time off and unavailable, and security-camera footage that mightiness person shown who removed nan sheet was erased and recorded complete 30 days later, she said.

The Federal Aviation Administration precocious gave Boeing 90 days to opportunity really it will respond to quality-control issues raised by nan agency and a sheet of manufacture and authorities experts. The panel found problems successful Boeing’s information civilization contempt improvements made aft 2 Max 8 jets collapsed successful 2018 and 2019, sidesplitting 346 people.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press