In Meeting with NTSB, Calhoun Committed to Rectify Past Errors

Jennifer Homendy, the Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), reported on Thursday that she received a call from Dave Calhoun, the CEO of Boeing. The call was in response to an incident where a cabin panel on a Boeing 737 MAX 9 jet unexpectedly blew out while the aircraft was in flight. Calhoun expressed his company's intention to correct the mistakes they had made in the past.


Following a briefing she gave to lawmakers from the House of Representatives who are currently investigating an incident involving Alaska Airlines earlier this month, Homendy shared Calhoun's remarks with the press. She quoted Calhoun as saying, "They've made errors in the past, and they want to rectify that." While she appreciated the sentiment, Homendy emphasized that her primary concern was not with the executive team, but rather with understanding the specific circumstances that led to the incident with the aircraft.

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Homendy also mentioned that both Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems, the company responsible for manufacturing and installing the door plug on the MAX 9, have been very cooperative throughout the investigation. Looking ahead, Homendy revealed that the NTSB plans to conduct destructive testing on the door plug next week. This involves testing the component until it fails, in order to identify its exact breaking point. The investigation has yet to determine whether the door plug was equipped with the four bolts designed to prevent it from moving vertically. 


However, Homendy cautioned that it was too early to conclude whether the root cause of the incident was due to missing or improperly installed bolts. She added that the investigation is also examining the seal and whether there was any structural flexing of the aircraft, suggesting that the issue may not be solely related to the bolts.

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