US Senate committee releases FAA investigation report

US Senator Roger Wicker, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Friday released the Committee’s investigation report on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The investigation began in April of 2019, weeks after the second of two tragic crashes of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, when Committee staff began receiving information from whistleblowers disclosing numerous concerns related to aviation safety, according to the report.

“Twenty months ago, the Commerce Committee launched an investigation into FAA safety oversight. We have received disclosures from more than 50 whistleblowers, conducted numerous FAA staff interviews, and reviewed over 15,000 pages of relevant documents,” said Wicker.

“Our findings are troubling. The report details a number of significant examples of lapses in aviation safety oversight and failed leadership in the FAA. It is clear that the agency requires consistent oversight to ensure their work to protect the flying public is executed fully and correctly,” he noted.

The report also found that during 737 MAX recertification testing, Boeing inappropriately influenced FAA human factor simulator testing of pilot reaction times involving a Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) failure, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Boeing issued a statement on the release of the report, saying that the company takes seriously the Committee’s findings and will continue to review the report in full.

“Boeing is committed to improving aviation safety, strengthening our safety culture, and rebuilding trust with our customers, regulators, and the flying public,” the company said, adding that it has learned hard lessons from the Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Flight 302 accidents.

The company argued that the events and lessons learned have reshaped Boeing and further focused its attention on core values of safety, quality, and integrity.