In a blistering attack on Boeing, the Air Force’s top acquisition official said the company has a “severe situation” with flawed inspectio
ns of its new KC-46 air refueling tanker aircraft, after trash and industrial tools were found in some planes after they were delivered to the Air Force.
Dr. Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logisti
cs, made clear his concerns after visiting Boeing’s Everett Washington plant where the plane is assembled.
”I left concerned, and I also left thinking Boeing understands they have a sever
e situation that’s going to take top level engagement from their company,” Roper said.
After discovering the problem, the Air Force stopped accepting the new tankers from Boeing on February 20.R
oper visited the plant on Monday and, after getting a company promise for a new inspection plan, deliveries are res
uming as upgraded inspections are completed. Six aircraft that had already been received were re-inspected by the Air Force.
”We are doing more stringent inspections so we feel confident before we accept any plane from Boeing,” Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told CNN.
While the discovery of trash and tools in the planes is not a result o
f design flaw, or a specific safety concern, Air Force officials privately told CNN they were
aware that the timing of the problem is exceptionally sensitive for Boeing after the grounding of its 737 Max jet.
All 157 people on board an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed soon after taking off from Addis Ababa have been killed, the airline said on Sunday morning.
The plane, en route to Nairobi, Kenya, lost contact at 8:44 a.m. local time, six min
utes after taking off from Bole International Airport in the Ethiopian capital.
Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam, told reporters at a press conference that
the pilot had reported technical difficulties and asked for clearance to return to Addis Ababa.
He was given clearance to turn back, according to GebreMariam, citing the Air Traffic Controllers record.
The pilot was a senior Ethiopian Airlines pilot who had flow
n more than 8,000 hours. He had an “excellent flying record,” according to the CEO.
The aircraft, flight number ET302, went down near Bishoftu, southeast of Addis
Ababa. An airline spokesperson told CNN the victims were of 35 different nationalities.
The spokesperson said 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethio
pians, eight Americans, eight Italians and seven UK nationals were among the passengers.
Eight Chinese passengers were also on board, said Li Liang, spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy to
hina will accelerate efforts to develop advanced manufacturing and strengthen its innovation
and competitiveness, while renovating and upgrading traditional industries, said Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology.
To promote high-quality manufacturing development, the country will simultaneously f
oster and develop emerging industries and new technologies, addressing industry ove
rcapacity and push forward the intelligent manufacturing, Miao said on the sidelines of the ongoing two sessions.
In addition, Miao said by the end of February this year, 1.56 bill
ion mobile phones were in use in China, surpassing the total population of the country.
Authorities overseeing the market place will implement new regulations this year to more effective
ly impose the strictest punishment on violators found guilty of the production and selling of fake or su
bstandard goods, Zhang Mao, minister in charge of the State Administration for Market Regulation said on Tuesday.
China will establish systems to subject such violators to more
severe punishment, including hefty fines and compensation for consumers, Zhang sa
id. Violators will have all fake or substandard products identified, confiscated and destroyed, he said.
A whistle blower system will be established to more effectively deter such violations, he added.