Boeing Fails 33 FAA Audits As Company’s Reputation Plummets

As a consequence of a panel failure and blowout that occurred in the middle of an Alaska Airlines flight in January, Boeing was found to be incapable of passing 33 of the 89 product inspections that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently carried out.

According to a presentation acquired by media outlets from the FAA, the agency discovered many issues with Boeing’s 737 Max manufacturing during a six-week examination.  They found several examples of Boeing and its previous subsidiary, Spirit AeroSystems’, failure to follow quality-control regulations.

The company was subject to thirteen product audits regarding the 737 Max fuselage that Spirit AeroSystems manufactured.  Seven audits were unsuccessful, and six were successful based on the FAA’s presentation. An audit pertaining to the assembly of the door plug (which detached mid-flight in January) was allegedly not passed. The agency also discovered that Boeing neglected to inspect the door plug.

The agency reported seeing mechanics from Spirit using a hotel key card to check the door seal and another using liquid dish soap to lubricate the seal. The FAA observed that the manufacturing order did not specify the procedures. Additionally, the agency noted that the workers were given instructions that were not explicit enough, making it hard to understand what the technician should do or document.

Compliance with FAA-approved manufacturing processes, procedures, and instructions was the root cause of many of the errors found by the 20 auditors.

To gauge the engineers’ familiarity with Boeing’s quality-control procedure, the FAA interviewed six of them. The engineers only managed a 58% average score.

According to spokesman Joe Buccino, Spirit is now analyzing all discovered nonconformities for possible remedial action.  He noted that the company is still working on several initiatives to enhance its safety and quality procedures.

Boeing spokeswoman Jessica Kowal said that the company is committed to making quick adjustments and developing a comprehensive strategy to improve safety and quality and gain the trust of its customers and passengers.

According to the FAA’s statement, specifics cannot be disclosed since the investigation into Boeing is still underway.  The DOJ and the NTSB are also investigating the aircraft manufacturer.