In this file photo taken on March 11, 2019 an Air China Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane is seen at Beijing Capital Airport. The key role China played in grounding the troubled Boeing 737 MAX 8 has demonstrated its growing clout in global aviation and may give it an extra bargaining chip in trade talks with Washington.
AFP/Greg Baker
Boeing 737 MAX to face first congressional hearing
(Agence France-Presse) - March 21, 2019 - 8:37am

WASHINGTON, United States — Boeing's ill-fated 737 MAX and federal regulators next week will face the first public grilling by Congress over the two fatal plane crashes in recent months.

Senator Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, called for a hearing of the Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation and Space, for March 27, with three transportation officials, notably the acting head of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Cruz intends to hold a second hearing to question Boeing officials as well as pilots and others in the industry, according to the statement.

More than 300 people perished in the two crashes of 737 MAX 8s that occurred shortly after takeoff in Indonesia in October and in Ethiopia earlier this month.

Boeing and the FAA are under investigation by the Transportation Department for how the rollout of the jet was handled, especially the a new flight system, the MCAS stall-prevention system, which was implicated in the Lion Air crash in October.

Pilots have complained they were not informed about the new system, which can force the nose of the plane down if it gets an erroneous reading from a sensor making it appear the plane is at risk of stalling.

The committee will hear next week from FAA acting chief Daniel Elwell, as well as the Transportation Department's chief investigator, Calvin Scovel, and National Transportation Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt.

The FAA said Wednesday it will review the information from the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder from the Ethiopian Airlines accident as it becomes available.

"Understanding the circumstances that contributed to this accident is critical in developing further actions and returning aircraft to service," the FAA said.

BOEING 737 MAX 8 ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES PLANE CRASH
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: April 4, 2019 - 5:19pm

Ethiopia's parliament has declared Monday a day of national mourning after a Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed, killing all 157 people onboard.

"The House of People's Representatives have declared March 11, 2019, a national day of mourning for citizens of all countries that have passed in this tragic accident," the office of Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Twitter on Sunday. — AFP

April 4, 2019 - 5:19pm

The Ethiopian transport minister says the crew of the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed last month killing 157 people, repeatedly followed procedures recommended by Boeing, but were unable to regain control of the jet.

"The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft," says Dagmawit Moges, unveiling results of the preliminary probe into the crash. — AFP

March 29, 2019 - 4:34pm

Investigators probing the fatal crash of a Boeing 737 Max in Ethiopia have reached a preliminary conclusion that a suspect anti-stall system activated shortly before it nose-dived to the ground, the WSJ reports citing people familiar with the matter.

The findings were based on flight recorder data and represented the strongest indication yet that the system, known as MCAS, malfunctioned in both the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10 and the Lion Air crash in Indonesia last year, the Wall Street Journal says.

The two crashes killed a total of 346 people. — AFP

March 14, 2019 - 9:34pm

French investigators have received the black boxes from the Boeing 737 MAX that crashed east of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, killing all 157 people on board, France's BEA airline safety agency says.

Ethiopian authorities had requested French help to analyze the content of the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder to discover what caused the Ethiopian Airlines flight to plunge to the ground just minutes after takeoff on Sunday.

March 14, 2019 - 5:30pm

US authorities say that new evidence showed similarities between Sunday's deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 and a fatal accident in Indonesia in October. The weekend crash killed all 157 people aboard. 

The ban on the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft became worldwide after US President Donald Trump joined Canada and other countries in grounding the aircraft, and the black box flight recorders from the doomed plane were flown to France for analysis. — AFP

March 14, 2019 - 4:14pm

Ethiopian Airlines says that the black box flight recorders from the Boeing 737 MAX 8 that crashed with 157 people on board have been flown to Paris for analysis.

Urgency is mounting to determine the causes of Sunday's crash as Boeing finds its entire fleet of the model grounded after it emerged the plane experienced similar difficulties to an Indonesian Lion Air flight in October, which also crashed minutes after takeoff. — AFP

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