Boeing CEO Admits to NTSB, No Knowledge of Who Fixed Faulty Part on Alaska 737-9

In a letter to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, Jeniffer Homendy, the chair of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), expressed her inability to identify who was responsible for the opening, reinstallation, and closing of the door plug on the Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 that experienced a door plug blowout on January 5, 2024. During her appearance before the committee on March 7, 2024, she stated that Boeing had not provided documentation detailing the removal and reinstallation of the door plug during the 737-9 repair at the Boeing factory on September 19, 2023. She also mentioned that efforts to obtain the names of 25 Boeing employees who might have been involved in the door plug work had been unsuccessful.


Senators instructed Boeing to supply the necessary information to the NTSB and asked Homendy to inform the committee of the results in writing. In a letter to Senator Maria Cantwell, the committee chair, dated March 13, 2024, Homendy revealed that Boeing had informed her that it could not locate the records documenting the door plug work and that relevant security camera footage had been overwritten. She noted that the lack of these records would hinder the NTSB's ongoing investigation.

EN - 728x90

Boeing provided the names of the 25 staff members who reported to the door crew manager in September 2023 following the Senate Committee meeting. However, those who specifically worked on the door plug were not identified. Homendy stated in her letter that she had contacted Boeing CEO David Calhoun to request the names of the workers involved, but he was unable to provide this information and insisted that Boeing had no records of the work being done.

Save Money 728x90

Homendy expressed concern that the NTSB's efforts to obtain the names might be seen as punitive. She clarified in her letter that her intention was to learn about Boeing's quality assurance processes and safety culture. She emphasized that the NTSB's goal is to identify shortcomings and recommend safety enhancements to prevent similar accidents in the future, citing the nation's safe aviation record due to a culture of non-punitive reporting. Homendy informed the committee that she had directed the NTSB to use its authority to protect the identities of the door crew and other frontline employees who provided relevant information for the investigation. She did not want the emphasis on individual names to adversely affect the investigation or deter Boeing employees from coming forward. She reiterated that the NTSB's objective, as with all its investigations, is to determine the likely cause of the accident and issue safety recommendations to prevent its recurrence, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the safety of the flying public.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

1 / 3
2 / 3
3 / 3
EN - 728x90