By Scott Hamilton
Dec. 21, 2020, © Leeham News: The US Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Friday issued a damning report taking Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration to task.
A 20-month investigation began in the wake of the two Boeing 737 MAX crashes in October 2018 and March 2019.
The report concluded Boeing inappropriately coached the FAA pilots during recertification simulator training to test fixes to the now-infamous MCAS system.
Details were widely reported last week.
More troubling is the larger picture painted by the Committee of an FAA for years ignoring several US airlines' safety violations and attempts by FAA inspectors to enforce safety regulations.
Whistleblowers were subject to retaliation, Committee investigators found. The FAA and its parent agency, the Department of Transportation, refused to make FAA employees available for interviews and stonewalled when documents were requested.
The bigger picture of an agency that protects airlines more than the public raises questions of a culture that favors cozy relationships with airlines. Media reports focused on the Boeing-FAA relationship and not the larger issues.