FRO Letter to Congress 9.14.2020 MAX Secrecy




Text Only:

September 14, 2020


The Honorable Chairman Roger Wicker, MS

Senate Commerce Committee


The Honorable Ranking Member Maria Cantwell, WA

Senate Commerce Committee


The Honorable Chairman Peter DeFazio, OR-4

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee


The Honorable Ranking Member Sam Graves, MO-6

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee


Dear Senators and Congressmen,


We thank you for the valuable oversight that you have done related to the Boeing 737 MAX and the FAA’s broken certification regime. 


The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, September 16, and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is expected to release its comprehensive report this week and hold hearings later this month. International regulators are conducting test flights and analyzing data. The decision of whether the 737 MAX is safe enough may be made within a matter of weeks. 


As far as we know, most of the FAA officials who granted approval to the 737 MAX, and the Boeing employees who misled regulators, the airlines, and the public by act or omission, still possess the same responsibilities and authority. 


We should not, and the public does not certainly does not expect these same officials to make an independent, sound judgment on the safety of the 737 MAX, its technical fixes, and overall operation of the certification system., on behalf of the flying public, in the name of safe air travel, and in memory of the 346 people who needlessly lost their lives to Boeing greed and countless regulatory exemptions, call on you to force Boeing to release all documents pertaining to the technical fixes it has proposed to the FAA. has requested these documents through a Freedom of Information Act request dated November 2019, but the FAA’s thorough and near-complete redactions make it impossible for independent experts to analyze the information and for Boeing and the FAA to restore faith and confidence in the Boeing 737 MAX. 


Ultimately, passengers may be the ones deciding whether the 737 MAX flies again. Without public disclosure and independent experts weighing in, Boeing’s deceitful actions before and after the two MAX crashes will be front of mind for passengers when they board any Boeing aircraft. Not Boeing’s assurances. Not the FAA’s imprimatur of safety. Certainly not when the same people who initially certified the MAX as safe are still making the decisions, which include, most disturbingly, secrecy. 




/s/ Paul Hudson


Member, FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (1993-present)

1530 P St NW, Washington, DC 20005

4411 Bee Ridge Rd., #274, Sarasota, FL 34233

800-662-1859 ext. 0

240-391-1923 fax