Boeing experiencing ‘self-inflicted wounds,’ some blame for recent mishaps lies with airlines: Former pilot

An aviation attorney said Sunday that Boeing has had a lot of “self-inflicted wounds” in the past few months due to a series of recent mishaps, but some say the blame lies with the airlines themselves. 

Fox News has tracked at least four incidents with Boeing aircraft in January, two in February and as many as 10 as of mid-March.

Arthur Rosenberg, a former pilot, highlighted a case earlier this month when a tire came off a United Airlines plane taking off from San Francisco International Airport.

Video from the incident showed a tire coming off the Boeing 777-200 during takeoff and landing in an airport employee parking lot, damaging several cars. 

A graphic that shows a series of Boeing aircraft incidents. (Fox News Live)

“That’s not really a Boeing problem. That’s an old airplane,” Rosenberg said on “Fox News Live.” “Tires get changed, maintenance people, mechanics at United, change the tires. Something went amiss. I would say, on a recent tire change or some repair, which caused that to come off. That’s not really a Boeing problem.” 

A second United Airlines plane landed in Medford, Oregon, on Friday with an external panel missing. The Boeing 737-800 plane had 139 passengers and six crew members onboard. 

Rosenberg said the photo of the missing panel does not indicate a “Boeing problem.” “To me, that smacks of a maintenance problem of United Airlines,” he explained. 

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However, the aerospace engineer said the door plug that blew off a Boeing 737 Max 9 jet mid-flight in January was a manufacturing defect. “There’s really no excuse for that,” he added. 

Boeing 737-9 MAX

In this National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) handout, plastic covers the exterior of the fuselage plug area of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 Boeing 737-9 MAX on January 7, 2024 in Portland, Oregon. ((Photo by NTSB via Getty Images))

“That was a failure of the internal policies and procedures of Boeing. And apparently, if you look at the long history leading up to that and even after, in my view, it’s become… it’s endemic and a pandemic inside of Boeing.”

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in a preliminary investigative report that four key bolts from the door plug were missing and have not been recovered. 

It will hold an investigative hearing into the incident in early August. 

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Rosenberg said he believes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is understaffed and overworked and that it has a dual policy of not just safety but economics. 

faa computer system failure

Passengers walk past a flight status board in Terminal C at Orlando International Airport that shows many delays, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, after the FAA grounded all U.S. flights earlier in the day. ((Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images))

“They don’t want to crush an airline. They don’t want to put them out of business with protocols and safety procedures. But they are the watchdog. And in my view, they’ve failed one of their primary purposes, which is aircraft safety,” the aviation expert explained. 

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He added that he believes the flying public can trust that airline travel is safe.

“The FAA will get it right and Boeing will hopefully get it right. And only time will tell,” he said. 

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