Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement after it was revealed this week that the FAA knew the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft would continue to suffer catastrophic accidents following the October 2018 crash:
“I’m deeply concerned about reports that the FAA’s own analysis showed that the Boeing 737 Max 8 would continue to suffer deadly accidents at alarmingly high rates after its first crash last year, yet failed to ground this plane until after a second tragedy four months later.
“An FAA analysis found that as many as 15 devastating crashes could be expected over the life of the Max 8 fleet, between 30 and 45 years. That’s one deadly crash every two to three years, comparable to all fatal accidents on Boeing’s major passenger planes combined. How could this agency put thousands of lives at risk by continuing to certify the aircraft when it knew what inaction could cost?
“Allowing these planes to continue to fly, as the FAA did, under the assumption that Boeing would fix the problem and pilots would get extra training is malfeasance at its worst. It’s deregulation run amok, a government agency clearly too beholden to the industry it’s supposed to oversee.
“The Federal Aviation Administration shouldn’t gamble with people’s lives. There are real-world consequences, and we saw them when 346 people died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash after the FAA knew there were problems.
“I have significant concerns about allowing these planes to return to service next year. I also have serious doubts about the FAA’s ability or willingness to mandate adequate aircraft safety. The flying public must have confidence in the safety of our airlines, and after this week’s report, that confidence has been severely shaken.
“I applaud the continued determination by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to bring new information to light. The FAA needs to do better; if it can’t accomplish that on its own, Congress needs to find ways to make it happen.”