United States: air regulator opens investigation into Boeing

United States: air regulator opens investigation into Boeing
United States: air regulator opens investigation into Boeing

LThe American Civil Aviation Agency (FAA) announced on Monday the opening of an investigation into Boeing, to determine whether the aircraft manufacturer had carried out the required inspections of its emblematic 787 “Dreamliner”, and whether documents had been falsified by employees.

This investigation aims in particular to find out whether Boeing correctly carried out the mandatory inspections regarding the junction of the wings to the fuselage “on certain 787 Dreamliner aircraft,” the FAA indicated in an email.

The agency says it is “investigating whether Boeing performed the inspections and whether company employees may have falsified documents related to the aircraft.”

That investigation was initiated after Boeing informed the agency “in April that it may not have performed required inspections.”

The aircraft manufacturer “re-inspects all 787 aircraft still in production and must also develop a plan to care for the fleet in service,” adds the FAA.

The 787 Dreamliner and the 737 MAX have suffered many production problems since 2023, which have slowed down the aircraft manufacturer’s deliveries. This has forced several airlines to change their flight schedules for 2024.

Scott Stocker, head of the 787 program, sent an email on April 29 to his employees at Boeing in South Carolina, where the planes are manufactured, informing them that “a teammate saw what appeared to be an irregularity in a conformity test required at the wing body junction”.

“He spoke to his manager, who brought it to the attention of senior management,” he added.

“We quickly looked into the matter and learned that several individuals had violated company policies by not performing a required test but recording the work as completed,” Scott Stocker wrote.

He assured that the “team of engineers (from Boeing) assessed that this fault did not create an immediate flight safety problem”.

Boeing, which had already struggled to recover after two crashes in 2018 and 2019, is in turmoil after a succession of quality and safety problems on its planes for more than a year.

An Alaska Airlines plane notably lost a cap holder in flight on January 5.

On April 17, four whistleblowers, including an engineer and former Boeing employees, testified before a US Senate investigative committee to prevent “serious problems” in the production of the Boeing 737 MAX, 787 Dreamliner and 777.

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