FAA saw high risk of more 737 Max crashes

Orlando Sentinel - - BUSINESS -

Com­mit­tee, which is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the FAA’s over­sight of Boe­ing and the Max.

“The FAA rolled the dice on the safety of the trav­el­ing pub­lic and let the Max con­tinue to fly un­til Boe­ing could over­haul its MCAS soft­ware,” said Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., chair­man of the com­mit­tee.

MCAS is the name of Boe­ing’s flight-con­trol sys­tem that au­to­mat­i­cally pushed the noses of the doomed planes down in re­sponse to faulty read­ings from a sen­sor.

FAA Ad­min­is­tra­tor Stephen Dick­son de­clined to call the agency’s de­ci­sion not to im­me­di­ately ground the plane a mis­take. In­stead, the FAA and Boe­ing is­sued no­tices re­mind­ing pi­lots how to han­dle a nose­down pitch of their plane.

“Ob­vi­ously the re­sult is not sat­is­fac­tory,” Dick­son said. “The de­ci­sion did not achieve the re­sult that it needed to achieve.”

The FAA con­cluded that more than 2,900 peo­ple could die in Max crashes over 45 years with­out the soft­ware fix. It as­sumed the fleet would even­tu­ally grow to 4,800 planes. Fewer than 400 were fly­ing be­fore they were grounded in March, af­ter the sec­ond crash.

A Boe­ing spokesman said the com­pany’s re­sponse to the first crash was “fully con­sis­tent with the FAA’s analysis and es­tab­lished process.”

Dick­son said that as Boe­ing seeks to re­turn the Max to fly­ing, his agency is con­trol­ling the

TASOS KATOPODIS/GETTY

Fam­ily mem­bers and friends of vic­tims killed in Boe­ing 737 crashes are greeted by FAA Ad­min­is­tra­tor Stephen Dick­son on Wed­nes­day be­fore a House Over­sight Hear­ing on Wed­nes­day in Washington, DC.

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