Federal investigators working on the Boeing 737 MAX case found that several of the safety inspectors who developed the pilot-training standards for the Federal Aviation Administration were unqualified.
According to The Associated Press, FAA officials responded to Congress Tuesday by saying every employee who worked on the MAX certification process was fully qualified, despite the federal investigators claiming the agency seemed to share misleading information.
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The battle between the FAA and investigators is a result of a complaint from a whistleblower, which forced the U.S. Office of Special Counsel to get involved. The agency’s report claims senior FAA officials did not understand the flight-control system that was later implicated in the two crashes that left 346 people dead.
In total, federal investigators found that 16 of the 22 inspectors interviewed did not finish their formal training, and 11 of those 16 also didn’t have the required flight-instructor license. While the FAA said none of those employees helped write training standards for the MAX, investigators found that several key inspectors were unqualified.
Special Counsel Henry Kerner told Congress the FAA’s answers about the qualifications of its inspectors “appear to have been misleading.” Kerner continued by saying, “The FAA’s failure to ensure safety inspector competency for these aircraft puts the flying public at risk.”
The FAA released the following response to The AP, saying, “All of the Aviation Safety Inspectors who participated in the evaluation of the Boeing 737 MAX were fully qualified for those activities.”