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Letter to BS: Boeing's 737 Max has suffered huge loss of reputation

Regulatory authorities, in this case Federal Aviation Administration, also failed to check the critical aspects of safety in its eagerness to give speedy approval

Business Standard 


This refers to “and its future” (July 1). An emergency landing in March 2019 and two earlier fatal crashes of MAX 737 were pointing to poor regulatory review by empowered oversight institutions. Worse, the Federal Aviation Administration seems to have vested critical aspects of safety certification on through a speedy approval.

That included a new automated flight control system — Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) — on which the pilots did not receive proper training. Also, the planes are equipped with at least two sensors that measure their angle relative to the ground. Yet, designed MCAS to react to a single sensor thus making it extremely vulnerable. It is evident that the FAA had put more faith in the brand name of Boeing and relied less on its own clearly set out responsibility check list.

This tendency — of blindly trusting suppliers and lacking a diligent technical scrutiny system — must be rife in other manufacturing sectors and products as well. Boeing is now in focus because it involved aircrafts that demand safety-plus features and intensive supervised training. Many lives may have needlessly been lost to haste, if not greed.

R Narayanan, Navi Mumbai

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First Published: Mon, July 01 2019. 22:07 IST