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Boeing resisted pilots' call for act after first fatal crash

18 May 2019

In an interview with CBS News, Nadia Milleron, the mother of Samya Stumo, a 24-year-old passenger who was killed during the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March, said she is anxious that the process for recertifying the questioned Boeing 737 Max jets will be rushed.

"We will not allow the 737 Max to fly in the USA unless it is absolutely safe to do so", Daniel Elwell, acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, told lawmakers Wednesday without offering an estimate for how long the review would take.

That union brought a recording device to a meeting with Boeing shortly after the first 737 Max crash, a Lion Air flight off Indonesia.

The meeting between the pilots and the Boeing official happened in November - just weeks after an October crash of a Lion Air 737 Max into the Java Sea, and four months before a 737 Max operated by Ethiopian Air crashed in Ethiopia.

During the two-hour questioning of Elwell by the House aviation subcommittee, lawmakers pressed him on the FAA's reliance on designated Boeing employees during the planes' certification process.

"I certainly wouldn't characterize it as rushed", Elwell said.

LEWIS: The FAA is under scrutiny for how closely it relied on Boeing to certify the 737 Max.

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ELWELL: I, at the beginning, when I first heard of this, thought that the MCAS should have been more adequately explained in the ops manual and the flight manual.

"The FAA has a credibility problem", declared the subcommittee chairman, Rick Larsen, D-Wash.

"What I'm asking you to do if you're confirmed is be pissed off that 346 people died. and that was preventable", Cruz told Dickson.

The crashes on the Boeing 737 Max were caused by anti-stall system MCAS, that caused pilots to lose control of the aircraft, and ignored the concerns of pilots in November past year following the first crash involving a Lion Air jet.

Lawmakers grilled Elwell during the hearing, quizzing him about the certification process that allowed the plane to fly.

"The only thing that is going to stop this is the public", Milleron said in an interview. "Boeing has yet to provide a single document", DeFazio said.

"We flat out deserve to know what is on our airplanes", one pilot says on the recording.

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New York-based Kreindler, along with co-counsel, Chicago-based Power Rogers & Smith L.L.P., have filed several wrongful death federal lawsuits against Boeing Company and Rosemount Aerospace, Inc. with additional claims to be filed tomorrow on behalf of victims who were among the 157 people killed in the March 10, 2019 ET302 plane crash in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The FAA has come under fire for approving a feature known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, and for giving the planemaker too much authority to oversee itself.

One of the areas under investigation following the accidents is how the FAA and Boeing categorized the risks of an MCAS failure.

The Allied Pilots Association, which represents American Airlines pilots, tweeted a Dallas Morning News article on the meeting.

LEWIS: Daniel Elwell as the FAA's acting administrator. The 737 Max is Boeing's best-selling plane and it is built in his home state of Washington.

Committee leaders said they still expect to call Boeing to testify at a future hearing but expressed some frustration they have not yet received any documents from Boeing as they probe what went wrong with the 737 MAX.

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Boeing resisted pilots' call for act after first fatal crash