Off-duty pilot saved plane one day before deadly Lion Air crash

Off-duty pilot saved plane one day before deadly Lion Air crash

Elwell, a former American Airlines pilot, has been acting administrator since January 7, 2018.

The Senate hearing, at an unspecified date, would be the first time that a USA congressional committee has called Boeing executives to appear for questioning about 737 MAX passenger plane crashes in October in Indonesia and March 10 in Ethiopia. The audit is separate from a criminal probe involving the Department of Justice. The latest effort, she said in a written statement, is meant to "assist the FAA in ensuring that its safety procedures are implemented effectively".

Chicago-headquartered Boeing has promised a swift update of automatic flight software, but regulators in Europe and Canada want to be sure themselves, rather than rely on USA vetting.

The system is usually used to keep the aircraft level and the system is supposed to prevent the crew from lifting the nose too much. But rather than ground the planes immediately, American officials waited.

Dickson, a former executive at Delta Air Lines, would replace acting FAA Administrator Daniel K. Elwell.

Rowing back from previous reliance on U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) vetting, Canada and the European Union will now seek their own guarantees over the MAX planes, complicating Boeing's hopes to get them flying worldwide again.

Dickson graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs, and also holds a law degree from the Georgia State University College of Law.

USA media said the choice was made before the 737 MAX controversy arose as a result of recent crashes.

After a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 plane crashed in Indonesia, it turned out that the accident was probably caused by the failure to train pilots in a new automated piloting protocol.

That extra pilot, who was seated in the cockpit jumpseat, correctly diagnosed the problem and told the crew how to disable a malfunctioning flight-control system and save the plane, according to two people familiar with Indonesia's investigation.

The French air-accident investigation agency BEA said the two crashes showed "clear similarities," and Boeing is introducing a software upgrade to its new anti-stall system that has come under scrutiny after the two crashes.

Investigators examining the Indonesian crash want to know how a computer ordered the plane to dive in response to data from a faulty sensor and whether pilots had enough training to respond appropriately. Three sources discussed them on condition of anonymity. The FAA earlier required design changes to the flight-control system "no later than April".

In the hot seat over its certification of the MAX without demanding additional training and its closeness to Boeing, the FAA has said it is "absolutely" confident in its vetting. It is unclear when that inquiry began.

The manufacturer has said that to handle the situation there is a documented procedure that must be memorized. FAA inspectors review the work of the manufacturers' employees, who are on the company payroll and could face a conflict of interest.

The Boeing 737 MAX plunged into the Java Sea on October 29, just minutes after taking off from Jakarta in Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board. Both accidents happened shortly after takeoff. The FAA and US airlines that use the planes stood by the plane's safety until last week.

Lawmakers and safety experts are questioning how thoroughly regulators vetted the MAX model and how well pilots were trained on new features.

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