The head of the NTSB says another incident like Boeing's door seal exploding could happen again


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CNN

The problem that led to a Boeing 737 Max 9 door plug exploding minutes into a Jan. 5 flight could happen again, said Jennifer Homendy, head of the National Transportation Safety Board.

“Of course, something like this could happen again,” she told CNN's Poppy Harlow on CNN This Morning Wednesday, although she added: “That's why the NTSB exists to ensure it never happens again.”

Her comments came a day after a preliminary report into the investigation into the Alaska Airlines explosion revealed that evidence suggested the four screws needed to hold the door plug in place were missing.

“It is not possible for this aircraft to be delivered if it is missing four important safety screws,” she said. “There is a problem with this process.”

Despite her harsh assessment of this incident, Homendy said she would not hesitate to fly on a 737 MAX 9 herself.

“Absolutely. They've been thoroughly inspected, I think.” “I'll have no problem taking a MAX 9 flight tomorrow.”

On Tuesday, Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Whitaker testified before Congress that the agency he has run since October relies too heavily on planemakers like Boeing to regulate itself.

“The current system is not working because it does not provide safe aircraft,” he said on Tuesday. “So we have to make some changes to that.”

The NTSB is also looking at what changes need to be made at the FAA, Homendy said.

She added: “I completely agree with the need for change.” “There's a problem with this process. We're not just digging deep into what's going on at Boeing. We're also looking at the FAA's oversight of Boeing as well. I'm very encouraged by the director's comments.”

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She said a series of quality issues at Boeing indicate there is a problem there that goes beyond the plane in the Alaska Airlines incident.

“I think there is a quality control problem,” she said. “That's exactly what we're looking at now…to see where the deficiencies are to make sure this doesn't happen again.”

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