2175301 wrote:Ertro wrote:Regulator has culpability only if regulator has done something wrong into the direction that makes the plane more unsafe. Even if EASA ungrounds the plane before FAA and even if the plane crashes that is not yet enough to show that EASA has done anything wrong. It might have been but the wrongdoing still needs to be shown. If there is no wrongdoing shown it is a case of shit happens, such is life and nobody could blame EASA for it.
FAA on the other hand has already been shown to botch the regulator duty. If the plane crashes there is some egg on FAAs face no matter how it happens.
It is pure fantasy to imagine a situation where EASA ungrounds the plane before FAA. Not going to happen. So EASA is not a gatekeeper or kingmaker into that direction that could make EASA to be at fault at anything. On the other hand if EASA causes both FAA and EASA together unground the plane at some later date than FAA alone would have done that is also situation where EASA can not be seen to be at fault.
Lastly any respectable regulator agency should not be afraid to make decisions and be a gatekeeper or kingmaker. If any regulator agency is afraid of that then that by itself causes it to lose any respect immediately. Nobody who is afraid of responsibility deserves any respect.
I think you are missing the key issue here: For decades the most of the major aircraft producing nations have had "bilateral" agreements that essentially said "we trust your national certification agency to certify as generally safe any aircraft developed and manufactured in your country."
Now such bilateral agreements may also include language that "our country" can impose certain other "modest" additional requirements prior to certification in "our country"; which clearly has existed both ways in such bilateral agreements.
Due to the consolidation of Europe that bilateral is now between EASA and the other nations (in this case the FAA); and not individual nations within the EU.
It has long been standard that certification of a EASA aircraft in the USA took a bit longer for other modest requirements specific to the FAA, and certification of FAA approved aircraft by the EASA again took a bit longer due to requirements specific the EASA. The aircraft manufactures knew what additional information and the process up front - and it was a relatively smooth process.
No one is expecting EASA or anyone else to lift the restriction until after the FAA approves it.
However, the current appearance is that EASA is now saying that they no longer trust the FAA to certify as generally safe any aircraft. They they "have to" impose their own requirements to be sure the aircraft is generally safe. The other day the IATA General Director discussed this appearance as well: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1426007&p=21637581&hilit=2175301#p21637581
Of course, no regulator can actually ensure perfect safety, no design errors, etc. That is fantasy land thinking. Yet, it appears that EASA is saying that they definitively would have caught the design error. My personal interpretation of their statement: "design errors with safety related systems are not even possible with the EASA review process".
To me personally, that sounds like a delusional or ignorant person - yet its from the head of the EASA. In actuality, what is possible is to reduce the number of critical errors below a certain threshold. The regulators have done a stunning job in improving that threshold in the last 60 years as evidenced by the crash statistics. Yet, events will still happen as nothing is perfect. That does not mean that the regulator failed in their job.
The other explanation is that the statement is "Political" in nature to satisfy their constituents... (and the truth does not matter)
If their statements are true in application (they actually act that way - and treat the FAA as an untrustworthy national agency)... then it essentially kills the bilateral between the USA and EU. That is the apparent issue - and it will be very costly for everyone. Not just moving forward. But, does it potentially kill the certifications already in place?
Personally, I wish the EASA had said just that it appears that the FAA is struggling at the moment and we are offering our services to help, and will also ensure that the system involved here is adequately safe to our standards. Of course, as I said before: There is a cultural difference between how Europe and the USA approach and do things.
I've also said before that I believe that Congress and the President passing a law that took the direct report of the key reviewers and certifiers from Boeing (etc) to the FAA was a mistake. It will take an act of the US Congress and President to reverse that. However, within the legally defined process that the FAA had. Both Boeing and the FAA followed the current US Law legal process; but a mistake was made in not identifying failure modes and/or significance at the FMEA level (which is the process step where the mistake was made at). I'm not sure if that mistake would have been caught under the previous direct report system either; nor am I sure that EASA would clearly catch a mistake in a FMEA at their level either.
Also, I guess we will not know how the EASA actually acts until after the FAA certifies the changes and approves the 737Max to fly again in the USA.
Have a great day,
One may argue, that FAA breached 18.104.22.168 of bilateral, so EASA exercise rights outlined in 1.13.70.