F.A.A. Analysis Warned of 737 Max’s Safety Before Second Crash

F.A.A. Analysis Warned of 737 Max’s Safety Before Second Crash


WASHINGTON — After the first deadly accident involving Boeing’s 737 Max in October 2018, an analysis done by the Federal Aviation Administration determined that the plane was likely to crash again if regulators did not intervene, according to a federal document reviewed by The New York Times.

The agency provided its internal analysis to Congress in recent weeks, and lawmakers are expected to question the F.A.A.’s chief, Stephen Dickson, about the document on Wednesday during a House Transportation Committee hearing on the two 737 Max crashes.

The F.A.A.’s analysis found that without government intervention, the Max would likely crash 15 times over the 45 years that it was expected to fly, killing more than 2,900 people. The analysis was reported on earlier by The Wall Street Journal.

By the time the F.A.A. conducted the review last December, it had already taken action that it assumed would mitigate that risk. In November, about a week after the Lion Air accident off the coast of Indonesia, the regulator issued a directive instructing pilots of the 737 Max to use a common emergency procedure to deal with the erroneous activation of software, which was a factor in the crash. The agency took the results of the December review as confirmation that the action it had taken was sufficient, according to a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an internal matter.

However, in March, there was a second deadly crash involving the Max, this time in Ethiopia. In all, 346 people were killed in the two crashes.

David Gelles reported from Washington and Natalie Kitroeff from New York.



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