'Horrific Culmination' of Missteps Behind Boeing MAX Crashes

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A 'horrific culmination' of missteps by Boeing  (BA) - Get Report engineers, lack of transparency and 'grossly insufficient' FAA oversight are the key reasons behind two fatal 737 MAX crashes that killed 346 people, according to a government committee report released on Wednesday.

In the damning 245-page report, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee pointed to widespread failures among Boeing engineers who designed the jet as well as deception by Boeing management as the key reasons behind the two accidents and the plane's subsequent grounding.

“The Max crashes were not the result of a singular failure, technical mistake or mismanaged event,” the report said. “They were the horrific culmination of a series of faulty technical assumptions by Boeing’s engineers, a lack of transparency on the part of Boeing’s management and grossly insufficient oversight by the FAA.”

The report, drawn from conclusions by the majority staff under committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, cites several key reasons behind the crashes, including pressure to update the 737’s design quickly and cheaply, faulty assumptions about the plane’s design and how pilots operated the aircraft, and what investigators called a “culture of concealment” by Boeing.

The House panel also highlighted internal Boeing documents dating back to as early as 2015 that noted a company test pilot's finding that a slow reaction to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS – the system believed to have caused the two fatal crashes – was not operating correctly or safely.

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