More dire warnings on 737MAX quality to be made to Congress

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Reports concerning the production of the 737MAX, especially the increase of production from 47 to 52 per month (since reversed), has shown up the chaotic situation at the Boeing Renton plant.

Edward Pierson, who was a senior manager at Boeing’s Renton factory, said a push to increase production of the 737 Max from 47 a month to 52, created a ‘factory in chaos.’

Employees were working seven days. Overtime had more than doubled and in some cases, Pierson said, employees were doing jobs for which they had no training.

‘The factory did not have enough skilled employees, specifically mechanics, electricians and technicians to keep up with the backlog of work,’ Pierson said in remarks prepared for a hearing Wednesday before the US Congress House Transportation Committee. ‘I witnessed numerous instances where manufacturing employees failed to communicate effectively between shifts, often leaving crews to wonder what work was properly completed.’

Meanwhile the FAA has told employees in its Aircraft Certification Service that it’s creating a new Air Safety Branch to oversee the certification processes the FAA manages – it appears to be department designed to watch over the people doing the certification – a sort of double insurance policy. It appears designed to overcome the issues of the first level certifiers having a close relationship with Boeing – and often having been Boeing engineers themselves. The new team will aim to ensure policies have been followed and reasoning meets acceptable standards.