FAA says Boeing Max jet inspectors qualified, despite whistleblower claims

The Federal Aviation Administration is pushing back against claims from whistleblowers that safety inspectors who certified the beleaguered Boeing Max jet received inadequate training.

“We can confirm that all of the flight inspectors who participated in the Boeing 737 MAX Flight Standardization Board certification activities were fully qualified for these activities,” acting administrator Daniel Elwell wrote in a letter to Senate Commerce Chairman Roger Wicker, R-Ms.

After receiving complaints from whistleblowers, the panel previously wrote to Elwell that it was “investigating any potential connection between inadequate training and certification” of the newest model of Boeing's popular 737 jet.

Boeing Max planes operated by Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashed in last the five months, prompting an international grounding of the fleet.

A preliminary report of the Ethiopian Airlines incident attributed it to a faulty “point of attack” sensor, which tracks lift at takeoff to prevent stalling.

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The erroneous sensor activated the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), an autopilot program that caused the plane to veer down and locked out the pilots who attempted to adjust the angle.


Boeing on Friday said it has uncovered a second software issue unrelated to the MCAS. The Chicago-based manufacturer is expected to submit a software patch in the coming weeks to address both problems.