FAA Says It Was Directly Involved in 737 Max Software Oversight

Pilots pushed Boeing to act after Lion Air crash Reports

"As our work continues, I offer this assurance: In the US, the 737 Max will return to service only when the FAA's analysis of the facts and technical data indicate that it is safe to do so", Elwell said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is under scrutiny for how it relied on Boeing to certify the Max and then didn't ground the plane until after the second crash, in March.

Acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell, in opening remarks, defended the agency's longstanding practice of designating Boeing and other companies with key roles in certification.

"The FAA needs to fix its credibility problem".

The preliminary findings, reported by The Wall Street Journal, are the first to shed light on how the faulty design of the so-called MCAS system, which led to crashes that killed 346 people in October and March, remained in the Max fleet.

Jet Airways, which is seeking $1.2 billion to fly again, had deals for 200 of Boeing's 737 Max aircraft.

Rep. Rick Larsen, the Washington state Democrat who chairs the House Aviation subcommittee, asked whether Elwell is looking to revert to the older system that gave the FAA more direct oversight of its representatives.

Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from OR, the chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, said Boeing "has yet to provide a single document" in response to the committee's records requests.

In audio obtained by CBS News, members of AA's pilots' union quizzed Boeing officials about the system - knowns as MCAS - in a tense meeting in November previous year, weeks after a Lion Air Max crashed in Indonesia and four months before the loss of an Ethiopian Airlines Max.

"Boeing has yet to provide a single document", he said.

Lawmakers want to hear about how the FAA certified the 737 Max 8 and why Boeing was given so much authority to regulate its safety.

U.S. aerospace firm Boeing did not receive any new orders for aircraft in April, a month after one of its 737 MAX planes was involved in a deadly crash in Ethiopia that resulted in the immediate grounding of this model by aviation authorities and carriers around the world, CNN reported, citing a company report.

"If we have robust oversight, and we have all the protections in place to guard against conflicts of interest or undue pressure, which I believe we now have, it's a good system", Elwell said. Boeing has said a fix is coming soon, but the planes won't be back in the air for several more weeks at the earliest. In both accidents, the automated flight system pushed the nose of the plane down and pilots were unable to regain control.

In testimony prepared for the confirmation hearing, Dickson said safety would be his top priority if he is confirmed, and that making sure the FAA keeps its standing as the world's top safety agency would be a major part of that. But he says the industry is only as good as the last takeoff or landing.

The FAA has not had a permanent director since January 2018.

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