Boeing 737 Max Investigation Hampered By 30-Day Security Camera Auto-Delete

Boeing 737 Max Investigation Hampered By 30-Day Security Camera Auto-Delete

The investigation into how a door plug blew out of a Boeing 737 Max 9 during an Alaska Airlines flight in January has featured several roadblocks. The latest obstacle is Boeing’s lack of security camera footage inside its Renton, Washington factory as federal investigators struggle to identify the employees who worked on the aircraft’s door plug. Business Insider reports that the aircraft manufacturer has a policy of deleting footage after 30 days.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reveal this difficulty with auto-delete in a letter to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation:

“To date, we still do not know who performed the work to open, reinstall, and close the door plug on the accident aircraft. Boeing has informed us that they are unable to find the records documenting this work. A verbal request was made by our investigators for security camera footage to help obtain this information; however, they were informed the footage was overwritten. The absence of those records will complicate the NTSB’s investigation moving forward.”

Boeing has been unable to provide information surrounding the incident, just like the door plug’s bolts. The 737 Max 9 in question had rivet repairs done in September 2023 before the plane was delivered to Alaska Airlines. For the repairs, workers removed and then reinstalled the plug. The aircraft manufacturer hasn’t provided the NTSB a list of employees who completed the work. Investigators were able to identify the door crew manager but he was on medical leave when the repair happened.

Boeing likely isn’t trying to protect its workers but making it as difficult as possible for the NTSB to interview anyone able to shed light on the planemaker’s inner workings. While Boeing hasn’t done anything to obstruct the investigation, it seems like federal agencies are trying to milk rocks to get information.

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