First meeting of agencies from international organizations reviewing Boeing 737 MAX to take place April 29; DOT announces members of a special committee investigating the aircraft certification process
WASHINGTON - The first meeting of the Boeing 737 MAX Joint Authorities Technical Review (JATR) will take place on April 29. JATR was established earlier this month after a March 737 MAX crashed in Ethiopia months after a similar disaster in the same aircraft model killed all those on board in a flight originating from Indonesia. The work of the JATR group is expected to take approximately 90 days.
The JATR is chaired by former NTSB Chairman Chris Hart and comprised of a team of experts from the FAA, NASA and international aviation authorities. The team will evaluate aspects of the 737 MAX automated flight control system, including its design and pilots’ interaction with the system, to determine its compliance with all applicable regulations and to identify future enhancements that might be needed.
In both the Indonesia and Ethiopia crashes in the MAX, investigators have noted similarities in how Boeing's Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) system behaved. Both passenger jets are believed to have had each of their noses sharply pointed downwards automatically to correct a possible stall.
The United States will be represented in the group by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). They will be joined by experts from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, and the United Arab Emerates.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Transportation, which is the FAA's parent organization, recently announced the members of the committee reviewing the agency's aircraft certification process.
The members include: Amy Pritchett, the head of Pennsylvania State University's Department of Aerospace Engineering; Gretchen Haskins, the CEO of HeliOffshore; Kenneth Hylander, the chief safety officer of Amtrak; and David Grizzle, the chairman of Republic Airways' board and former FAA Air Traffic Organization chief operating officer.
When the committee was announced by DOT Secretary Elaine Chao on March 25, she said, “Safety is the number one priority of the Department, and this review by leading outside experts will help determine if improvements can be made to the FAA aircraft certification process."
According to the DOT, the special committee will meet and consult with parties in the private sector, including representatives of: general aviation; commercial aviation; aviation labor; aviation maintenance, repair, and overhaul; aviation, aerospace, and avionics manufacturing; unmanned aircraft systems operators and manufacturers; commercial space transportation industry; and members of the public; and other interested parties.
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