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Terminate Boeing’s Ability to Certify Aircraft: Victims’ Families Ask of DOT

On October 19, 2021, families and friends who lost loved ones in the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX jet in 2019 are asking the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to terminate the aircraft maker’s ability to certify its own airplanes, a provision allowed in a program called the Organization Designation Authority (ODA) that allows third parties to perform functions of the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).

Hundreds of family and friends of the 157 people killed aboard the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that crashed in Ethiopia in March 2019 are asking DOT officials, including Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and DOT Administrator Stephen Dickson, to withdraw Boeing’s ability to certify its aircraft because “it has become clear that Boeing is not a company that can be trusted with the public safety responsibilities conferred by the ODA,” according to their petition to the DOT dated Oct. 19, 2021.

Click here to view the petition.

Dickson is scheduled to testify before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee at 10 a.m. (EST) on October 21, 2021, the three-year anniversary of the crash of Lion Air 610, the first MAX crash that killed 189 on board.  The Committee is expected to “examine ongoing work within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to implement provisions of the bipartisan Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act.”

The petition cites 15 reasons why Boeing misconduct requires the FAA to terminate Boeing’s ODA including the company’s “deceiving the FAA” about the methods the MAX aircraft operated “by way of misleading statements, half-truths and omissions,” creating “an ODA culture that applies undue pressure to engineering personnel so they are not able to exercise independent judgment free from organizational conflicts of interest,” and “failing to insulate the ODA from Boeing’s profit motives.”

Chris Moore of Toronto, Canada, and father of Danielle Moore, 24, who was killed in the crash, said, “The ODA process is based on faith in the organization given the authority to certify the product.  This same organization rakes in over $1 billion revenue weekly; the CEOs and directors award themselves bonuses for improved quarterly gains. However, the ODA process has a weak qualification process that does not require professional engineers to meet the criteria, no code of ethics and a faulty whistle-blower process largely due to conflicted officials.  How can we have confidence in safety?”

The petition comes on the heels of the indictment of Mark Forkner Thursday (Oct. 14, 2021).  The former chief pilot of the new aircraft was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on six counts for his actions, including lying during the certification process of the new aircraft.  He pled not guilty in federal court in Texas on October 15, 2021.

To speak to Lead Counsel Robert A. Clifford or a family member if available, contact Clifford Law Offices Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker at 847-721-0909 (cell).

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