A report from House Democrats blamed the “culture of concealment” at Boeing and “grossly insufficient” oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration for the crashes of two 737 Max planes that killed 346 people, The Washington Post reports. The House Transportation Committee report outlines six instances in which Boeing and the FAA failed the public following a review of internal company documents, whistleblower testimony, and public hearings. According to the committee, the FAA “failed in its duty” to find safety problems with the 737 Max and ensure the company remedy them—leading to the “doomed” Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes within months of each other. The FAA also did not do enough to fix its lax oversight after the first Lion Air crash, the report claimed.
The committee said Boeing hid “crucial information” from the public and the FAA about a defunct steering system, and stated the company had a desire to compete with airline manufacture Airbus. In the spirit of competition, Boeing allegedly cut costs and raised production numbers that eventually compromised the safety of the planes. “The desire to meet these goals and expectations jeopardized the safety of the flying public,” the report reads. The 737 Max has remained grounded since the two crashes. The FAA and Boeing did not address the committee’s findings in their statements on the matter.
Bloomberg reports that Boeing was also hit with fines totaling $19.7 million on Friday over the installation of unapproved cockpit equipment in hundreds of 737 Max and Next-Generation planes. Nearly 800 planes had non-certified devices installed, the FAA said in a statement announcing one of its largest fines ever imposed. Boeing told the website the FAA’s findings “do not involve a safety issue.”