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Boeing fails 33 FAA product audits following mid-flight panel blowout: Report

Boeing reportedly failed 33 of 89 recent Federal Aviation Administration product audits following an in-flight panel explosion on an Alaska Airlines flight in January. new york times.

An FAA slide presentation obtained by the Times reported that a six-week audit conducted by the federal agency revealed several problems with Boeing’s production of 737 Max aircraft. The FAA said it found “multiple instances” of noncompliance with quality control standards by Boeing and its former subsidiary Spirit AeroSystems.

The presentation showed Boeing passed 56 of 89 product audits and failed 33. The FAA reportedly found 97 suspected nonconformities.

Spirit AeroSystems also underwent 13 product audits regarding the manufacture of the 737 Max airframe. The company failed seven audits and passed six, according to a Times review of the FAA’s presentation. Additionally, Spirit reportedly failed an audit earlier this year regarding the installation of a door plug, a part that flew off in the air during an Alaska Airlines flight. The agency also found that Boeing did not check the aircraft’s door plugs.

Federal authorities say one Spirit mechanic used a hotel key card to inspect a door seal and another mechanic was seen applying liquid dish detergent to the door seal “as a lubricant.” He said he witnessed it. The FAA noted that the method was “not specified/documented/instructed in the manufacturing instructions.” The agency added that instructions provided to workers were “vague and unclear as to what specifications and actions mechanics should follow and record.”

Many of the problems found by the FAA’s 20 auditors were related to failure to follow “approved manufacturing processes, procedures, or instructions,” the presentation said.

The FAA interviewed six Boeing engineers to assess their understanding of the company’s quality control processes. According to the presentation, the average score for engineers was only 58%.

A Spirit spokesperson told the Times that the company is “reviewing all identified nonconformities for corrective action.”

“In the meantime, we continue to take various steps to improve our safety and quality programs,” Spirit spokesman Joe Buccino said in a statement. “These improvements focus on human factors and other steps to minimize nonconformities.”

In a statement to the press, Boeing spokeswoman Jessica Kowal said the aircraft maker was “immediately implementing changes and implementing a comprehensive We will continue to develop action plans.”

The FAA told the Times that it could not release additional details while the investigation into Boeing continues. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Department of Justice are also investigating the aircraft manufacturer.

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