Featured image: NTSB

Boeing Apologizes to NTSB for Information Sharing Overstep

DALLAS – Boeing issued a statement apologizing to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for overstepping the safety board's role as the sole source of investigative information.

Last Tuesday, Boeing conducted an in-depth briefing on its "Safety & Quality Plan," sharing "context" on the lessons we have learned from the January 5 accident." According to CNN, Boeing shared that the cause of the door plug blowout was missing maintenance paperwork.

According to the report, "the lack of paperwork is why the four bolts needed to hold the door plug in place were never installed before the plane left the factory in October. The workers who needed to reinstall the bolts never had the work order telling them the work needed to be done."

The NTSB would take a strong stance against Boeing on Wednesday, sanctioning the company for releasing non-public investigative information to the media regarding incident involving an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX door plug blowout in Portland, Oregon.

Today's Boeing said, "We deeply regret that some of our comments, intended to make clear our responsibility in the accident and explain the actions we are taking, overstepped the NTSB's role as the source of investigative information. We apologize to the NTSB and stand ready to answer any questions as the agency continues its investigation."

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX with missing door plug. Photo: NTSB

Sanctions Imposed on Boeing

The agreement between Boeing the the NTSB prohibits the company from sharing confidential information or offering speculations on potential causes. The sactions on Boeing include:

  • Limited access to information: While retaining its party status, Boeing will no longer receive investigative updates from the NTSB.
  • Subpoena for investigative hearing: Boeing is compelled to appear at a hearing on August 6th and 7th in Washington D.C. However, unlike other participants, they won't be allowed to question others.
  • Coordination with Department of Justice (DOJ): The NTSB will share details of Boeing's unauthorized information release with the DOJ's Fraud Division, considering the ongoing investigation into Boeing's interactions with the FAA before the Boeing 737 MAX fatalities.

Pre-order the 2025 Airways Calendar