Senate Probes Safety Concerns and Boeing Rot After 737 MAX 9 Blowout

By: Alex Freidmen

CEO Faces Senate Scrutiny

Boeing Co BA CEO Dave Calhoun engaged with US senators amidst ongoing scrutiny after a 737 MAX 9 mid-air cabin panel blowout. Calhoun failed to offer any explanation for the incident during the meeting, as reported by Reuters.

Senator Outrage and Future Investigations

Senator’s Reaction: Sen. Cantwell, chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, asserted that “The American flying public and Boeing line workers deserve a culture of leadership at Boeing that puts safety ahead of profits.” The committee plans to conduct hearings to delve into the root causes of the safety lapse.

The top Republican on the Commerce aviation safety subcommittee, Sen. Moran, disclosed that Boeing has a general understanding of the cause of the blowout but is awaiting the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to finalize its investigation.

Corporate Response and Further Developments

In response, Boeing stated, “We continue to communicate transparently with Congress, the FAA and the NTSB. We are focused on taking action to strengthen quality and safety across Boeing.” However, the company did not comment on the CEO’s meetings with lawmakers. Calhoun emphasized that Boeing does not put planes in the air unless they have 100% confidence in them.

Significance: The blowout has raised concerns about the safety of Boeing’s aircraft, especially after the FAA recommended expanded checks on the Boeing 737 fleet due to potential issues with door plugs. This directive followed the grounding of 171 Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes after the mid-air cabin blowout.

Impact on Alaska Air Group Inc

Alarming Revelations: CEO Ben Minicucci of Alaska Air Group Inc ALK disclosed that internal inspections revealed a significant number of loose bolts on their 737 Max 9 aircraft. This came to light following a near-miss incident earlier this month.

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Also, the FAA announced its decision not to approve any requests from Boeing for an expansion in production or additional production lines for the 737 MAX until the quality control issues are resolved.

Image made from photos on Wikimedia Commons and Shutterstock

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