FAA Audit Finds Boeing Didn’t Comply With Quality-Control Requirements

FAA Audit Finds Boeing Didn’t Comply With Quality-Control Requirements

The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that a six-week audit of Boeing and one of its major suppliers, Spirit AeroSystems, found “multiple instances” in which the companies failed to meet quality control requirements.

As part of the audit, which looked at production of the Boeing 737 Max, the FAA said it “identified issues with non-compliance with Boeing’s manufacturing process controls, parts handling and storage, and product control.” The regulator did not publicly disclose further details.

The FAA initiated the review after a door panel on a 737 Max 9 jet came loose at an altitude of about 16,000 feet in early January, raising new questions about quality control practices at Boeing and Spirit that inspect the 737’s fuselage and body, respectively Make Max.

Boeing declined to comment on the review. A Spirit spokesman, Joe Buccino, said the company is reviewing the findings and is “in communication with Boeing and the FAA regarding appropriate corrective actions.”

The door panel incident, a so-called door plug, occurred on an Alaska Airlines flight shortly after takeoff from Portland, Oregon, on Jan. 5. The FAA quickly grounded similar Max 9 jets, although the planes were allowed to return to service later this month after inspection.

In a preliminary report last month, the National Transportation Safety Board said four screws securing the door plug had been removed from the jet at Boeing’s plant in Renton, Washington. The report suggested that the screws may not have been reinstalled before the aircraft was put back into service.

The FAA’s review was one of several steps the regulator took after the door plug incident to tighten scrutiny of Boeing’s manufacturing processes. The agency also opened an investigation into whether the plane maker failed to ensure its products were safe and conformed to approved design, and barred the company from expanding production of the 737 Max series until quality control problems are resolved.

Last week, the FAA gave Boeing 90 days to develop a plan to improve its quality control practices. In response, the company’s chief executive, Dave Calhoun, said the aircraft maker “has a clear picture of what needs to be done,” adding that its executives are “fully committed to meeting this challenge.”

A week earlier, Boeing announced a leadership change in its commercial aircraft division. And on Friday, the company said it was in talks to acquire Spirit, which it spun off nearly two decades ago.

Source link

2024-03-05 00:53:56