Monday, April 15, 2024

NTSB criticizes Boeing for not sharing important documents about door plug

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Boeing hasn’t given the important documents investigators need about the door plug incident on a 737 Max. They say it’s because there are no records. The papers they’re looking for are about what happened on the assembly line last fall. Investigators believe Boeing workers removed important bolts but didn’t put them back before the plane left the factory in October 2023. The door plug flew off during a flight on January 5, about two months ago.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chairwoman Jennifer Homendy said Boeing hasn’t given the documents they asked for about the door opening, closing, and removal at the Renton facility. Because of this, investigators don’t know who on the Boeing assembly line took out and put back the door plug that later blew out during a flight with passengers.

Boeing replied, saying if the door plug removal wasn’t documented, there wouldn’t be any records to share. They promise to keep cooperating with the NTSB’s investigation.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) found issues with Boeing’s manufacturing line recently. They did a six-week check and found problems with how Boeing handles parts and controls the manufacturing process. NTSB investigators visited Boeing facilities and created a team to get documents from Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems, a key contractor. Boeing says they’ve been cooperating fully.

Homendy wants to know the names of the actual Boeing workers who touched the door plug bolts. Boeing initially didn’t give the names, calling it absurd. Later, they agreed to share the full list of individuals on the 737 door team.

Homendy also talked about concerns with Spirit’s involvement in the investigation. She said three people Spirit presented for interviews didn’t actually work for Spirit but for a subcontractor. Spirit hasn’t commented on this.

Homendy praised the FAA for being cooperative in the NTSB probe.

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