Families of crash victims want U.S. to rescind approval for Boeing 737 MAX to fly again
By Tracy Rucinski
(Reuters) - The families of the victims killed in two crashes by Boeing Co's 737 MAX want U.S. regulators to revoke the aircraft's rerouting permission after concerns about the rerouting process were raised in the Senate .
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lifted its 20-month safety ban on the 737 MAX on Nov. 18 after Boeing changed the green light design to resolve issues that resulted in two fatal accidents in Indonesia in late 2018 and in Ethiopia Connected in early 2019.
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However, a detailed report by the Senate Commerce Committee released Friday found that Boeing officials "inappropriately trained" FAA test pilots during their recertification efforts.
"The committee identified unlawful and potentially unlawful conduct that needs to be investigated to determine whether the MAX recertification process has been compromised," said families of Ethiopian accident victims in the Reuters-verified letter to the FAA and the Department of Transportation dated Dec. 22.
Asked for comment, the FAA said it worked closely with other international regulators to conduct a "thorough and deliberate review" of the 737 MAX.
"We are confident that the safety issues that played a role in the tragic accidents involving Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 have been addressed through the necessary design changes and independently approved by the FAA and its partners," said a spokesman.
Boeing declined to comment. When the Senate report was released on Dec. 18, Boeing said it "takes the committee's findings seriously and will continue to consider the report in full."
"With the first US flight of the 737 MAX scheduled to take place within a few days, we are requesting that the aircraft be immediately grounded based on the new revelations," the families wrote.
A total of 346 people were killed in the two accidents.
American Airlines will fly the aircraft for the first time in the U.S. with commercial passengers on December 29 since the aircraft landed worldwide in March 2019.
(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago, adaptation by Chizu Nomiyama and Lisa Shumaker)
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