The fact that the US administration is about to launch an investigation through the Department of Transport Inspector General, in how the 737MAX was certified is amazing enough. In the literally, related world of Washington DC, Elaine Chou, Secretary of Transport and wife of Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, ordered the probe, largely its believed, on instructions from the Whitehouse.
Boeing will not like that at all, as they feel they’ve bent over backwards to accomodate Truimp and his whims, especially over the Air Force One replacement. They spend a vast amount of money in Washington, employing as many as 100 K Street lobbyists, to make sure things like this don’t happen.
Just to make Boeing’s day even more cingeworthy, the FBI announced their own investigation. That’s a whole diffrent aspect, because that implies, but by no means prooves, potential criminal behaviour in the way it was done. Now that’s a vast field of open ended questioning. It can range from potential bribery to undue pressure on someone to approve something they wish they hadn’t. It could simply reveal a corrupted system as a whole, that needs change because its become warped by the passage of time and expediency.
It might, finally, highlight the appaling revolving door of Boeing, FAA and airline staff rotating in and out of these organisations – and it goes to the Pentagon too. Its a simple principle – should the regulated be supervised by the people that used to work for them?
Should regulators be allowed to work for the regulated to help them navigate their way through the regulation process? Or avoid parts of it through legal means that don’t neccessarily meet the moral standards we’d like to think they do?
But most of all how did a fundamental change to the 737 operation with this anti-stall system, not end up in the aircraft manual or be taught to pilots globally? Who made that decision and and why?
What made the FAA listen so much to Boeing, that it was blinded by the realities of the global situation and wasn’t the first to put the public and saftey before anything Boeing had to say?