US Regulator Sanctions Boeing For Revealing Door Panel Probe Details To Media

The National Transportation Safety Board sanctioned Boeing (BA) for “blatantly” violating regulations by disclosing investigation details about Alaska Airlines’s (ALK) door panel blowout to the media.

“As a party to many NTSB investigations over the past decades, few entities know the rules better than Boeing,” the NTSB said.

The investigation started after a door plug blew off a 737 Max 9 on an Alaska Airlines flight at around 16,000 feet in air, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing, shortly after it took off from Portland. The NTSB stated in a preliminary report that the door panel was missing four key bolts.

During a press meet at Boeing’s 737 Max factory in Renton, Washington, the plane maker stated that the lack of paperwork was the reason behind the Alaska Airlines incident. As the paperwork was missing, the four bolts were never installed, CNN reports.

Following this, NTSB scolded Boeing for revealing “non-public investigative information” to the media.

The U.S. regulator further said, “During a media briefing Tuesday about quality improvements… a Boeing executive provided investigative information and gave an analysis of factual information previously released. Both of these actions are prohibited”.

The NTSB has now placed sanctions on Boeing, which restricts the company from participating in the investigation.

Responding to the agency’s decision, Boeing stated, “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.”

Boeing added, “We apologize to the NTSB and stand ready to answer any questions as the agency continues its investigation.”

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