Seattle - While the preliminary results of the Flight 302 investigation reveal more data connecting two recent Boeing 737 MAX crashes, the certification process of the 737 MAX by the US Federal Aviation Agency is under scrutiny.
According to the Seattle Times, FAA managers forced their employees to delegate a wide range of their responsibilities to Boeing engineers for safety assessment of the 737 MAX.
The decision was made to speed up the certification process of the aircraft to prevent it from lagging behind the A320neo of the rival Airbus, sources claimed who spoke to the newspaper.
Another serious claim is that the safety analysis made by Boeing had several critical flaws.
Current and former engineers of the Agency who are involved in the safety evaluations of the MCAS system were familiar with the details of the document shared by Boeing, The Seattle Times confirmed.
The sources who spoke to the newspaper requested anonymity to protect their jobs and positions at the FAA and other aviation organizations.
Here are some flaws detected during the certification process of the aircraft concerning the MCAS system:
Understated the power of the new flight control system, which was designed to swivel the horizontal tail to push the nose of the plane down to avert a stall. When the planes later entered service, MCAS was capable of moving the tail more than four times farther than was stated in the initial safety analysis document.
Failed to account for how the system could reset itself each time a pilot responded, thereby missing the potential impact of the system repeatedly pushing the airplane’s nose downward.
Assessed a failure of the system as one level below “catastrophic.” But even that “hazardous” danger level should have precluded activation of the system based on input from a single sensor — and yet that’s how it was designed.
The U.S Federal authority has defended itself recalling that the aircraft is certified by other regulators including EASA.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is now investigating the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval for Boeing 737 MAX, The Wall Street Journal and Reuters news agency report.
The investigation was launched after Lion Air Flight 610 crash last year in October and is being conducted by the inspector general of the department. The Department of Transportation ordered the FAA to safeguard all records and files related to the certification campaign.
The Transportation Department is trying to learn if the agency practiced proper standards and analyses in certifying the plane's anti-stall system known as MCAS.
Boeing and the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency did not comment on the allegations.