Boeing Responds to NTSB 737 Announcement

In response to today's National Transportation Safety Board announcement regarding the 737, Boeing issued the following statement:

"Boeing believes the NTSB's announcement is generally consistent with the intent of the 737 rudder modifications first announced by Vice President Gore on Jan. 15, 1997. However, we interpret today's NTSB recommendation regarding the retrofit of a redesigned rudder power control unit as encouraging prompt action, as opposed to "speeding up" the schedule for the modification.

"Boeing is and has been working with suppliers on an already aggressive schedule to comply with the modification schedule. In some cases, these efforts were initiated well before the Jan. 15 announcement. Further, Boeing continues to participate in an industrywide effort to train pilots in appropriate procedures to handle unexpected in-flight airplane upsets.

"Under the formal process established for these matters, the FAA will evaluate the NTSB's recommendations and decide what actions, if any, should be taken. At such time that the FAA proposes action, Boeing and all other interested parties will have an opportunity to respond.

"Boeing regards the package of changes to the 737 as appropriate, reasonable and technically sound requirements that will serve to make a safe airplane even safer."