New review finds Boeing safety ‘disconnect’

Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read

A new US government report has raised concerns about the safety culture with US plane manufacturer Boeing.

The recent US review found a ‘disconnect’ between Boeing senior management and staff members with respect to safety related issues.

From the findings it appears that safety-related messages and imperatives were not effectively filtering down through the organisation.

Report by Expert Panel

The recent report was handed down by a panel of experts directed by the US Congress. The panel was appointed by the US regulator Federal Aviation Administration early last year.

This report is separate to recent investigations following an in-flight incident involving an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 aircraft in January.

The panel reportedly noted “inadequate and confusing” implementation of company safety culture. It further noted a lack of awareness with respect to safety metrics throughout the organisation.

According to the BBC, Boeing will now review the findings.

Boeing workers at safety standdown in Renton
Photo Credits: Boeing
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Boeing Comments

“We’ve taken important steps to foster a safety culture that empowers and encourages all employees to share their voice. But there is more work to do,” the US plane manufacturer stated.

“We will carefully review the panel’s assessment and learn from their findings, as we continue our comprehensive efforts to improve our safety and quality programs.”

FAA Statement

The US aviation regulator FAA has also indicated that it will undertake a review of the panel findings. In releasing the report, the FAA said it appreciated the hard work and dedication of the expert panel members.

We will immediately begin a thorough review of the report and determine next steps regarding the recommendations as appropriate,” the regulator said in a brief statement.

“We will continue to hold Boeing to the highest standard of safety and will work to ensure the company comprehensively addresses these recommendations,” the FAA concluded.

You can view the full report by the panel here.

Boeing At Fault for Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 Door Mishap

Addressing 2 Fatal Accidents

US Congress directed the report to address two fatal accidents involving Boeing aircraft in 2018 and 2019.

The two accidents claimed the lives of 349 people.

The fatal accidents involving Boeing 737 MAX aircraft led to the global grounding of the model and significant changes in design and pilot training. Here’s a brief overview of each:

  1. Lion Air Flight 610 (October 29, 2018):
    • Crashed into the Java Sea 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia.
    • 189 people on board were killed, including passengers and crew.
    • Investigations revealed the crash was partially caused by the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), a new flight control system on the MAX. This which received faulty sensor data and repeatedly pushed the plane’s nose down despite pilot attempts to override it.
  2. Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 (March 10, 2019):
    • Crashed six minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
    • 157 people on board were killed, including passengers and crew.
    • Similar to Lion Air Flight 610, the MCAS system malfunction played a significant role in the crash, again due to faulty sensor data.

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A new US government report has raised concerns about the safety culture of US plane manufacturer Boeing.
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