New York (AFP)
Electrical faults in the MAX cockpit, fuse inconsistencies in the 787, delays in the 777X: Boeing seems to have been accumulating technical concerns in recent months, but the explosions of announcements have mainly resulted in, according to many observers, increased monitoring.
“Boeing, unfortunately, is currently under the magnifying glass, which is fair,” says Ken Herbert, an astronomer for Concord Genovet.
The Seattle-based company has been the subject of numerous inquiries after two close crashes of its new flagship aircraft, the 737 MAX, which killed 346 people in 2018 and 2019.
Its boss, Dave Calhoun, arrived in January 2020 with the difficult task of restoring confidence in Boeing. When the group’s quarterly results are released, he will have to explain himself on Wednesday about the latest setbacks.
Boeing announced in mid-July that it had discovered new flaws in its long-range 787 Dreamliner, which was enough to reduce production rates and delay deliveries. The team had already discovered several production defects last summer, especially regarding the connection of a part of the fuse.
The FAA, the US airline, warned Boeing in May that additional test flights may be required before the future White Body 777X can be certified due to a lack of technical data.
Electrical problems in the cockpits of about 737 MAXs led to the temporary immobilization of one hundred units already delivered in April.
The group has retreated in two new examples of the presidential aircraft Air Force One, while the KC46 tanker has been exacerbating disappointments.
– Corporate Culture –
There are many reasons for these problems. Epidemic, the team and its suppliers may have faced the same staff and exacerbated the problems as in other parts of the economy.
The decision to shift production of the 787 to a base in South Carolina may also have created obstacles.
Another front, a parliamentary report on Max Accidents last September, highlights the shift in corporate culture since merging with McDonald Douglas in 1997, with a greater focus on financial gains and less on settlement. Engineering problems.
The report specifically covered up the “cover culture” that existed with the manufacturer and the FAA’s lack of oversight.
“Investigations have shown that both organizations have failed, one in the role of its manufacturer and the other in the role of its supervisor,” said analyst Bertrand Wilmer, boss of aeronautical consulting firm Iker.
“They try to go up the slope and inevitably find flaws by not infiltrating the FAA,” he adds.
The same is true of Hassan Shahidi, chairman of the Air Traffic Safety Trust.
Recommendations made after MAX failures are being implemented, with new risk management systems resulting in “greater oversight and transparency”.
– Incorrect communication –
Boeing, for its part, says it has acted “formally” over the past two years to improve security.
For example, in the case of the 787, “the decision has to be made to slow down the production rate for further research and to perform some touch-up tasks, although this can sometimes affect operations”.
The FAA insists on its willingness to cover up all aspects of security.
In May, when the FAA proposed an algorithm as a way to study Boeing 787s, it asked the FAA to suspend supplies until it could examine the data behind the project.
The agency no longer wants to take the word of the group at face value, it wants to see the data, a source within the FAA told AFP.
The recent setbacks of the 787 highlight internal communication issues, and Dave Calhoun has repeatedly promised that this issue will be resolved quickly.
They are subject to “bringing bad news and judging them in a timely manner.” “It gives the impression that the company is not fully dealing with the situation.”
© 2021 AFP