FAA orders Boeing to fix 737 MAX anti-ice system


Although the likelihood may be remote, the chance is not zero that the Boeing 737 MAX engine anti-ice system could cause engine damage.

That was enough to cause the Federal Aviation Administration to order a fix.

The problem also presents on the 787 Dreamliner, with anti-ice system having caused “relatively minor” damage to an engine in more than one instance. The FAA says it requires fix for a new 737 MAX design problem. The problem was discovered by Boeing in the MAX’s engine anti-ice system, prompting the company to drop its request from a certain exemption from safety regulations.

The design flaw is not considered an immediate flight risk by the FAA, but the agency has issued two directives to Boeing to fix the problem and inspect, and then redesign the configuration for a permanent fix.

This is a separate issue from the door-plug bolts that were found to be missing from the 737-9 MAX that lost its plug mid-flight in January.

Boeing company representatives met with the FAA last week to go over the system-wide quality-control concerns.

“Boeing must commit to real and profound improvements,” Administrator Whitaker said following the meeting with Boeing Chief Executive Officer and President Dave Calhoun and his senior safety team. “Making foundational change will require a sustained effort from Boeing’s leadership, and we are going to hold them accountable every step of the way, with mutually understood milestones and expectations.”   

Administrator Whitaker told Boeing he expects the company to provide the FAA with a comprehensive action plan within 90 days that will incorporate the forthcoming results of the FAA production-line audit and the latest findings from the expert review panel report, which was required by the Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act of 2020.

That expert panel noted “a disconnect between Boeing’s senior management and other members of the organization on safety culture. Interviewees, including ODA Unit Members (UM) also questioned whether Boeing’s safety reporting systems would function in a way that ensures open communication and non-retaliation.”

“Boeing must take a fresh look at every aspect of their quality-control process and ensure that safety is the company’s guiding principle,” Whitaker said.   

On Feb. 12, Whitaker was on the Boeing factory floor in Renton, Wash. to observe the 737 production line and hear directly from Boeing engineers, mechanics, and others about quality control processes. Whitaker also went to the Alaska Airlines headquarters to discuss the port-side mid-cabin door plug that blew out of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 on Jan. 5 while in flight.  

The FAA has halted production expansion of the Boeing 737 MAX, is exploring the use of a third party to oversee Boeing, and will wrap up its enhanced oversight audit of Boeing’s production and manufacturing quality systems in the coming weeks. An investigation into Boeing’s alleged noncompliance is also underway, the FAA said.


    • FAA is focused on who gets hired regardless of skill. They are woke .
      You should feel safe as being in any leftist city.

  1. Congress isn’t capable of fixing a flat tire. As a whole they are failures with very few noble patriots. We are living in very discouraging times. Bidens entire administration is a freak show. As for Boeing they need to simply bring their manufacturing back entirely in house. The only thing that needs outsourcing is engines and avionics.

  2. Further more there is 50.000 people killed on our road system every year and no one thinks anything about it. Yet 450 killed in aircraft and its a total uproar. What’s with that. Our main ground transportation infrastructure is shit.

    • Doug glenn: you are comparing Apples and Oranges. The first time that there is a ground transportation accident that kills or even injures 450 people you will see undivided attention from the NTSB and DOT.

  3. Boeing suffers from the DEI disease. Same for airline pilot hiring. The result is that air travel is steadily getting less safe.

    • Air travel is getting less safe because No one wants to be a pilot anymore. It’s a horrible and expensive process from private to commercial and our military retirees sure are not filling the gap.

  4. The FAA never acts until enough people have been killed in plane crashes, and enough means many. The problems at Boeing would have been fixed a long time ago if the FAA had been doing their job and the Boeing board of directors had been doing their job and the Boeing suits had been doing their job. There are too many people not doing their job for any real fix to be implemented any time soon.

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