Now it appears that Boeing pressured FAA test pilots during the review of the 737 MAX fixes.
Now is not the time for more rigorous regulatory action.
Now is the time for criminal prosecutions, and perp walks for senior Boeing executives:
Senate investigators concluded that Boeing “inappropriately coached” Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) pilots for a simulator test last year conducted during the effort to test and recertify the company’s 737 MAX as safe to fly again after two deadly crashes.
The conclusion is contained in a report issued Friday by the Republican majority in the Senate Commerce Committee on an investigation that was launched after the two MAX crashes but that ultimately broadened to unearth numerous safety problems across the FAA.
A whistleblower who served as an FAA aviation safety inspector told Senate investigators that Boeing officials prompted the FAA test pilots before the test, which was designed to test pilot reactions to an emergency, to be ready to respond.
The FAA inspector alleged the Boeing official told the pilots, “Remember, get right on that pickle switch” — meaning an electrical thumb switch on the control column used to pitch up the jet’s nose.
Even with that prompt, one of the pilots took 16 seconds to respond, four times longer than Boeing and the FAA had assumed.
According to the report, the investigators asked to interview that pilot, but a Transportation department lawyer prohibited the pilot from answering questions about the incident.
Senior members of the FAA need to be brought into court in handcuffs as well.