US regulator grounds 737 Max 9 until further data from Boeing

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US aviation regulators said on Friday that the 737 Max 9 would be grounded until Boeing provided more data.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it wants to analyze data from an initial group of inspections of 40 of the roughly 170 grounded jets before deciding whether to lift the grounding imposed following the mid-air explosion of an Alaska Airlines wing. Airplane.

“We're working to make sure nothing like this happens again,” FAA Administrator Michael Whittaker said.

Boeing said earlier this week that it had provided airlines with instructions on how to inspect the planes. But the FAA said it needed more information before signing off on the rule, though it said it was “encouraged by the thoroughness of Boeing's instructions for testing and maintenance.”

United Airlines, which flies more Max 9s than any carrier, said Friday it would cancel flights on the plane through Tuesday, giving it more time to maneuver as winter storms continue to hit much of the United States.

“By canceling this early, we are trying to create more certainty for our customers and more flexibility for our frontline teams to do their jobs,” the airline said.

Earlier on Friday the FAA said it was considering stripping Boeing of its right to conduct certain flight inspections for planes leaving its factories.

The move by the Federal Aviation Administration to review Boeing's own employee safety certification oversight program follows last Friday's mid-air incident in Oregon that grounded the 737 Max 9. So-called “corporate designation recognition” came under scrutiny when two Boeing 737 Max 8s crashed in 2018 and 2019.

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Whittaker said the FAA is “exploring” its options for using an independent third party to oversee Boeing's planes and its quality controls.

“It is time to rethink the delegation of power and assess the security risks associated with it,” he said. “The 737-9's fundamentals and several production-related issues identified in recent years [at Boeing] Every option should be looked at to minimize risk.

The regulator also said it plans to immediately increase oversight of Boeing's production. The FAA on Thursday opened an investigation into whether the planes Boeing makes meet the specifications it has laid out.

The FAA said it will audit the 737 Max 9 product line and its suppliers “to assess Boeing's compliance with its approved quality practices,” and further audits will be required.

Spirit Aerosystems, which supplies the Max's fuselage, including a door panel section that came off a plane operated by Alaska Airlines, has been in the spotlight for quality defects over the past year.

Sealed door panel Arrived at the lab on Friday Part of the National Transportation Safety Board's accident investigation.

Washington Senator Maria Cantwell sent one Letter Yesterday, the FAA questioned the agency's role in inspecting Boeing-made planes. Cantwell said he asked a year ago to audit parts of Boeing's manufacturing and the regulator told him it was unnecessary.

“Recent accidents and incidents — including the dislodged door plug on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 — call into question Boeing's quality control,” he said. “In short, it appears that the FAA's oversight processes are not effective in ensuring that Boeing produces airplanes that are in a condition for safe operation.”

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The FAA also said the Max 9s will increase monitoring of disturbances during operations. However, flights do not operate except outside the United States. There are about 215 worldwide — the Max 9 is a less popular variant than the Max 8, which has fewer seats — and the FAA grounded 171 Boeing jets on Saturday following the incident at Alaska Airlines 1282.

The regulator reiterated on Friday what it had said all week: “The safety of the flying public, not speed, will determine the timeline for the return of the Boeing 737-9 Max to service.”

Boeing said: “We welcome the FAA's announcement and will cooperate fully and openly with our regulator. We support all such measures
To strengthen quality and safety, we are taking measures throughout our company
production system.”

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