Lawmakers quiz Boeing, FAA about recent issues with planes

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Boeing 737 Max airplanes, including one belonging to TUI Group, left, sit parked at a storage lot, Monday, April 26, 2021, near Boeing Field in Seattle. Lawmakers, on Tuesday, May 18, are asking Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration for records detailing production problems with two of the company’s most popular airliners. The lawmakers are focusing on the Boeing 737 Max and a larger plane, the 787, which Boeing calls the Dreamliner. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two key members of Congress are seeking records from Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration about production problems with two of the company’s most popular airliners.

The lawmakers are focusing on the Boeing 737 Max and a larger plane, the 787, which Boeing calls the Dreamliner.

House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., said Tuesday there are “new and ongoing issues (at Boeing) that point to problems in maintaining quality control and appropriate FAA oversight of production issues.”

DeFazio was joined in the records request by Rick Larsen, D-Wash., chairman of the committee’s aviation subcommittee.

Chicago-based Boeing and the FAA said they were reviewing the request.

About 100 Max jets were idled last month because of improper electrical grounding that affected cockpit instruments. Last week the FAA approved a Boeing fix for the planes, which are built near Seattle.

All Max jets around the world were grounded for nearly two years after two crashes that killed 346 people. Boeing made changes to a flight-control system after the crashes, and the FAA cleared the plane to resume flying late last year.

DeFazio’s committee spent 18 months investigating Boeing and the FAA’s certification of the Max. The panel concluded in a blistering report last yearthat the Max suffered from design flaws that Boeing failed to fix, and that the FAA did a poor job monitoring the company.

More recently, Boeing halted deliveries of 787s for five months after discovering a flaw that left tiny gaps between sections of the planes’ carbon-fiber fuselage near the tail. Boeing is consolidating production of the 787 in South Carolina. Deliveries resumed in March.

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