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Boeing in latest blow after poor government audit

Simon Calder’s Travel

Boeing has promised changes after receiving poor grades in the latest blow to the company.

The aircraft maker said that it would work with employees found to have violated company manufacturing procedures to make sure they understand instructions for their jobs.

It detailed its latest steps to correct lapses in quality in a memo to employees from Stan Deal, president of Boeing’s commercial plane division.

The memo went out after the Federal Aviation Administration finished a six-week review of the company’s manufacturing processes for the 737 Max jetliner after a panel blew off one of the planes during an Alaska Airlines flight on January 5.

The FAA reviewed 89 aspects of production at Boeing’s plant in Renton, Washington, and found the company failed 33 of them, according to a person familiar with the report. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details that have not been publicly released – although they were reported earlier by The New York Times, which saw a slide presentation on the government’s audit.

“The vast majority” of violations found by the FAA involved workers not following Boeing’s approved procedures, Deal said in his memo.

Deal said the company will take remedial steps that include “working with each employee noted with a non-compliance during the audit to ensure they fully understand the work instructions and procedures.”

Boeing will also add weekly compliance checks for all work teams in the Renton factory, where Max jets are assembled, he said.

Deal acknowledged a recent conclusion by a panel of government and industry experts that found Boeing’s procedures for ensuring safety were too complicated and changed too often.

“Our teams are working to simplify and streamline our processes and address the panel’s recommendations,” he told staff.

The day before the blowout on Alaska Airlines flight 1282, engineers and technicians at the airline wanted to remove the plane from service to examine a warning light tied to the plane’s pressurization system, but the airline kept flying the plane and scheduled a maintenance check for late the following night, The New York Times reported Tuesday. Before that could happen, however, a door-plug panel blew off the jet 16,000 feet (4,800 meters) over Oregon.

Alaska said that the maintenance plan “was in line with all processes and procedures….

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