US FAA halts Boeing 737 MAX production on quality worries

It found "non-compliance issues in Boeing’s manufacturing process control, parts handling and storage." Boeing and Spirit received an FAA audit summary without corrective measures. Spirit said it was "in communication with Boeing and the FAA on appropriate corrective actions."

Washington: The Federal Aviation Administration's 737 MAX production audit of Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems discovered many manufacturing quality control violations.

The FAA claimed it discovered "non-compliance issues in Boeing’s manufacturing process control, parts handling and storage, and product control." Boeing and Spirit received a summary of the FAA's audit results but not the precise corrective steps.

Boeing noted that "by virtue of our quality stand-downs, the FAA audit findings and the recent expert review panel report, we have a clear picture of what needs to be done."

A new Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 lost a door plug at 16,000 feet on Jan. 5, prompting an FAA inquiry. The FAA refused Boeing 737 production increases in January because to "the quality assurance issues we have seen are unacceptable."

FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker ordered Boeing to create a 90-day plan to solve "systemic quality-control issues" at a full-day Feb. 27 meeting with CEO Dave Calhoun.

Whitaker said Boeing must improve dramatically this week. "We are going to hold them accountable every step of the way, with mutually understood milestones and expectations."? Boeing officials were "totally committed" to FAA issues and strategy last week, Calhoun said.

Whitaker stated that the audit was "to look at the system, look at how the inspections are done, where they're done, how the interaction is with the suppliers,

how the handoff happens, just the whole process to really understand how it works and where the faults might be." Boeing improved safety following the January mid-air incident that required weeks of FAA MAX 9 grounding.

Bipartisan lawmakers have asked the FAA about "any evidence of persistent quality control lapses in any of Boeing's production lines." Boeing quality is routinely questioned by the FAA. Boeing paid the FAA $6.6 million in 2021 for years of quality and safety violations.

After an airline found a bolt with a missing nut during maintenance, the FAA ordered MAX planes to check for loose rudder control system bolts in December.Last month's preliminary examination found four crucial fasteners missing from the MAX 9 door panel that blew off.

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