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Wed Mar 13, 2019, 08:04 PM

The 737 Max Is Grounded, No Thanks to the F.A.A.

Federal aviation regulators have allowed the airline industry to have too much power.

By James E. Hall
Mr. Hall was chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board from 1994 to 2001.

'A new-model airliner crashes, killing all 189 people aboard. Less than five months later, another airliner of the same new model crashes, killing all 157 aboard. Both seem to have occurred under similar circumstances. The world was understandably terrified, and until Wednesday, the United States Federal Aviation Administration stood alone as the only major aviation safety agency that had not ordered the grounding of this airline model, Boeing’s 737 Max 8.

President Trump’s executive order on Wednesday afternoon to ground all Boeing 737 Max 8s was a necessary step. But it is a step that should have been taken directly by the federal agency responsible for aviation safety. That it came from the White House instead speaks to a profound crisis of public confidence in the F.A.A.

The roots of this crisis can be found in a major change the agency instituted in its regulatory responsibility in 2005. Rather than naming and supervising its own “designated airworthiness representatives,” the agency decided to allow Boeing and other manufacturers who qualified under the revised procedures to select their own employees to certify the safety of their aircraft. In justifying this change, the agency said at the time that it would save the aviation industry about $25 billion from 2006 to 2015. Therefore, the manufacturer is providing safety oversight of itself. This is a worrying move toward industry self-certification.

Before this policy was instituted, the agency selected these airworthiness representatives, who may have worked for the manufacturer but were chosen and supervised by the agency. These experts were responsible for guiding the agency’s decisions about whether to ground an aircraft for safety concerns.Unfortunately, the problems of the 737’s latest model, the Max 8, show that those responsible for ensuring the safety of our skies have strayed from this successful path, and lives have been unnecessarily placed at risk. The F.A.A.’s oversight of aircraft safety needs to be examined by Congress, which should act to make sure the agency names independent experts to determine the airworthiness of an aircraft.

The American public should expect no less. The F.A.A. used to lead the world in air safety; today it is bringing up the rear.'

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/13/opinion/boeing-737-grounded.html

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Reply The 737 Max Is Grounded, No Thanks to the F.A.A. (Original post)
elleng Wednesday OP
Turbineguy Wednesday #1
PSPS Wednesday #3
PSPS Wednesday #2

Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 08:20 PM

1. The best people.

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 08:49 PM

3. Actually, the change at FAA that allowed this to happen was instituted under GWB.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 08:48 PM

2. Yes, this is another deadly leftover from another GOP administration ("W")

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