1. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Aboulafia, Teal Group:
"There are a lot of suspicions a lot of concerns. It's impossible to lay the blame for any given crash at one particular flaw or problem. Most likely it was a connection between technology that may be new and training that might not have been ready yet either and crew procedures and airline procedures that also might have been a mistake. But in general, a lot of suspicion has focused on the MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) system which is a device that basically adjusts the plane in flight automatically if it senses that the plane is going into a stall."
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Aboulafia, Teal Group:
"You know, I mean I think the big danger here is that everyone blames the FAA even though there's no investigation findings yet. And most importantly, frankly, the most likely, logical thing is that the FAA was merely under resourced which has been a continuing mantra. You know, I mean, less resources for regulatory and oversight agencies which sometimes is a good idea, but very often it isn't."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Aboulafia, Teal Group:
"You know, this is the biggest danger in the aftermath of these terrible tragedies that frankly the FAA is at risk of losing some of its power, its soft power in terms of worldwide image. That's why any investigations that are going to take place need to be done in a very above board way. Basically, this needs to be a totally transparent process to reassure people and make sure that the system of global worldwide reciprocity in aircraft certification is maintained."
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Aboulafia, Teal Group:
"Given what we know which is not 100 percent of everything but it looks like the likely remedy is going to be a software patch and training changes, greater awareness of this system and its role in the operations of the jet."
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Aboulafia, Teal Group:
"You know a lot of it's probably to come down to confidence by the regulators, by the people who oversee the regulators and of course the flying public. The technical aspect of it might just be the first part. That part will take weeks followed by a period of working it all out and installation and of course installing the necessary training changes throughout the world fleet of about 380 of these jets. Meanwhile, they're going to continue production. That's the plan. So far even though they can't deliver them they're still going to keep building them with the changes built in."
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Aboulafia, Teal Group:
"So it's a big reputational hit particularly given the investigations into the certification procedure and whether or not too much authority was devolved onto Boeing itself. But you know the financial aspect even though it sounds big in headline terms - hundreds of millions, perhaps a billion in total damage - this is a company that made about 10 billion (dollars) last year so its ability to weather the storm isn't really questioned. It's just going to be painful."
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Aboulafia, Teal Group:
"You know at the end of the day this is a version of the 737. And there are a lot of people who think that the fourth version is maybe just a version too far. I don't think that's going to be the case. Most likely they're going to find a problem with a discrete system and the training associated with the implementation of that discrete system and it will be fixable. There's over ten thousand 737s that have been built and another five thousand or so on order for this version. I don't think this is going to derail the process assuming they don't find anything more severe than what they're currently contemplating after these tragedies. "
A commercial aircraft consultant says the FAA is most likely under funded and does not have the resources to do necessary aircraft safety inspections.
Richard Aboulafia of Teal Group made the comments to The Associated Press on Wednesday.
This comes after senator Richard Blumenthal said an investigation should be done into whether problems with the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane were missed because Boeing employees did some safety-certification work on FAA's behalf. Blumenthal also questioned whether the FAA should have done more after the first 737 Max accident, and why the FAA didn't ground the plane as quickly as other regulators around the world.
President Donald Trump has tapped a former Delta Air Lines executive to lead the Federal Aviation Administration as the regulator deals with questions about its approval of the Boeing airliner model involved in two deadly crashes within five months.
The White House said Tuesday that Trump will nominate Stephen Dickson to head the FAA. The agency has been led by an acting administrator since January 2018. Separately, the Transportation Department confirmed that its watchdog agency will examine how the FAA certified the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, the now-grounded plane involved in two fatal accidents within five months.
The FAA had stood by the safety of the plane up until last Wednesday, despite other countries grounding it. A Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed off the coast of Indonesia last October, and an Ethiopian Airlines Max 8 crashed this month near Addis Ababa.
Investigators suspect that incorrect sensor readings feeding into a new automated flight-control system may have played a role in the Indonesian crash, and the Ethiopian plane had a similar, erratic flight path.
Boeing began working on an upgrade to software behind the flight-control system shortly after the Lion Air crash. CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in recent days that the company is close to finishing the update and changes in pilot training to help crews respond to faulty sensor readings.
The Oct. 29 Lion Air crash killed 189 people, and 157 died in the March 10 accident involving an Ethiopian Airlines jet. Both accidents happened shortly after takeoff.
The plane is an important part of Chicago-based Boeing's future. The company has taken more than 5,000 orders and delivered more than 250 Max jets last year. Boeing still makes an older version of the popular 737, but it expected the Max to account for 90 percent of all 737 deliveries this year.