FAA didn't review 737 Max system assessments before crashes: report

FAA didn't review 737 Max system assessments before crashes: report
© Twitter/NTSB

Senior officials at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) failed to review safety reports of the 737 Max's in-flight control systems before the plane was approved for worldwide sale, according to an internal investigation.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that an internal FAA review found that senior officials did not monitor or participate in safety assessments of the Boeing aircraft's new in-flight control systems, which automatically adjusted the pitch of the aircraft based on sensors outside the cockpit.


The sensor system is thought to be the culprit behind two deadly crashes involving the 737 Max jets in a six-month period that led to more than 300 deaths and the plane being grounded around the world.

People familiar with the FAA's findings told the Journal that the report did not find evidence of Boeing officials ignoring certification standards or providing false data to the FAA, but according to the Journal it's unclear what role the agency took in reviewing the information Boeing provided to the agency before the aircraft was approved.

The results of the probe also indicated that Boeing didn't report to the FAA that the in-flight stall prevention feature could cause a catastrophic event if it failed, according to the Journal.

A criminal probe was launched earlier this year by the Justice Department and the Department of Transportation into the 737 Max's certification, which has already issued at least one subpoena targeting someone involved with the plane's development, according to media reports.

Boeing announced in March that it would upgrade the 737 Max's software on all planes and would additionally provide training to pilots on the new upgrades for free following public scrutiny in to the company after the crashes.