Capt. Sullenberger: 737 MAX crashes reveal ‘cozy’ relationship between Boeing, FAA – Washington Examiner
“Miracle on the Hudson” pilot Chesley Sullenberger says the two recent crashes of a new Boeing passenger jet show the federal government has lost the ability to effectively regulate the company.
Sullenberger said the Federal Aviation Administration has been underfunded for “too many years.” That reality has forced the FAA to outsource the work of approving aircraft to the manufacturers themselves.
“This, of course, has created inherent conflicts of interest, when employees working for the company whose products must be certified to meet safety standards are the ones doing much of the work of certifying them,” he wrote in MarketWatch.
“To make matters worse, there is too cozy a relationship between the industry and the regulators,” he added. “And in too many cases, FAA employees who rightly called for stricter compliance with safety standards and more rigorous design choices have been overruled by FAA management, often under corporate or political pressure.”
Sullenberger warned that this problem has damaged U.S. credibility as a leader in the aviation industry, and said it has “come home to roost” in the form of the two Boeing crashes.
Two Boeing 737-8 MAX planes have crashed over a five-month period, due to what investigators suspect is a glitch that forces the nose of the plane downward as it’s trying to take off. Reports have indicated that pilots struggled to understand why the plane wanted to descend during takeoff, and ultimately crashed.
Sullenberger is the former U.S. Airways pilot whose engines failed in 2009 after a birdstrike just as he was taking off in New York in 2009. He landed the plane in the Hudson River, and all 155 people on board survived.