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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House Transportation Committee on Wednesday released a scathing report, highlighting "repeated and serious failures" by Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration that preceded two deadly 737 MAX jet crashes in 2018 and 2019.

The big picture: The 239-page report says the crashes, which killed 346 people, were the result of a "horrific culmination" of poor technical assumptions by Boeing’s engineers, a lack of transparency by Boeing’s management and insufficient oversight by the FAA.

The report's findings:

FAA management overruled the conclusions of their own technical experts "at the behest of Boeing."

  • This was consistent with a recent survey in which FAA employees said they believed management was more concerned with helping the aviation industry achieve its goals.
  • The FAA's oversight structure for Boeing created "inherent conflicts of interest that have jeopardized the safety of the flying public," pointing to instances in which Boeing employees who work on behalf of the FAA didn't alert the agency about potential certification and safety issues.

Production pressures at Boeing to compete with its European counterpart Airbus led to "extensive efforts to cut costs, maintain the 737 MAX program schedule, and avoid slowing the 737 MAX production line."

  • Boeing made "faulty assumptions" about the plane's MCAS software, designed to push the nose of the plane down in certain conditions given the plane's structural changes from a traditional 737. Many pilots worldwide weren't aware of the system.
  • Boeing also "withheld crucial information from the FAA, its customers, and 737 MAX pilots," including about the MCAS software.

The bottom line: "The fact that a compliant airplane suffered from two deadly crashes in less than five months is clear evidence that the current regulatory system is fundamentally flawed and needs to be repaired," the report concluded.

Read the report.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about the Boeing 737 MAX crashes

Go deeper

Nov 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump's Air Force One problem

Boeing model of what the new Air Force One 747s will look like if Biden chooses to keep the current color scheme. Illustration courtesy of Boeing.

One of President Trump's favorite items on display in the Oval Office has been a model of Boeing's Air Force One revamp that swaps Jackie Kennedy's iconic light blue design for Trump's preferred look: a white top and dark blue bottom set off with a red stripe.

What he's saying: "Isn't it beautiful? Now it's actually patriotic," Trump has told visiting foreign leaders and other visitors, according to a person he's shown it to.

Updated 4 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."