Andrew Tangel of The Wall Street Journal tells his readers the current system relies on the plane maker, not regulators, to ensure that jets are produced properly. The effectiveness of the FAA and its largely hands-off regulatory system comes back into the spotlight. Tangel writes:
After two Boeing 737 MAX crashes five years ago that killed everyone aboard both jets, air-safety regulators cranked up the heat on the plane maker.
The Federal Aviation Administration, under fire for being too soft on Boeing, assigned more people to oversee the company’s production. FAA inspectors, not Boeing’s own employees, would now do the final safety check on each 737 MAX. Boeing would add back quality inspections it had stopped doing. Two FAA inspectors would keep tabs on Spirit AeroSystems, Boeing’s troubled supplier of door plugs and other equipment.
When the problem-plagued 737 MAX was finally cleared to fly again in 2020, the FAA’s then chief Steve Dickson called it “the most heavily scrutinized transport aircraft in aviation history,” telling reporters: “I am fully confident that the aircraft is safe, and I would put my own family on it.” […]
“What about all those hundreds of planes that left the factory without those inspections?” Pierson said. “They’re out there.”
Read more here.