FAA 787 Inspections Reveal Checks Were Left to Boeing
By Alan Levin, Bloomberg News
Jan 30, 2013 8:00 PM ET
The Federal Aviation Administration has operated that way for many years, even as government audits have found those efforts were sometimes poorly overseen and led to errors. The agency in 2005 began allowing Boeing and other manufacturers to pick the engineers, who previously were chosen by the FAA.
“I think everyone recognizes there is an inherent conflict there,” Jim Hall, former chairman of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, said in an interview.
“It’s hard for the public to accept the concept for someone else to make a finding for the government,” he (John McGraw, a former FAA deputy safety director) said. “But this has been done since the start of the FAA. This is really just an extension of that, with better oversight than they had back then.”
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada pointed to engineering certification as a possible factor in the crash of Swissair Flight 111 off Nova Scotia on Sept. 2, 1998, that killed all 229 aboard.
Engineers at an aircraft maintenance company who were acting on the FAA’s behalf signed off on an entertainment system that may have started a fire that brought down the plane, the Canadian safety board found. The engineers lacked sufficient knowledge of the Boeing MD-11’s power grid to provide that certification, the board found.
I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers.