By Lori Aratani, The Washington Post
Published: June 11, 2019
WASHINGTON — Less than a week after pushing Boeing to release additional documents tied to the operation of the company’s troubled 737 Max jets, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio has scheduled a second hearing on the aircraft involved in two fatal crashes in less than five months.
The planes have been grounded since March, following crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people. Last month, acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell and Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, testified before the committee about the steps the FAA would take before allowing the jets to resume service.
At the June 19 hearing, members are scheduled to question witnesses representing pilots, flight attendants and the aviation industry. Also scheduled to testify are former FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt and Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. Representatives from Boeing are not scheduled to appear.
U.S. pilots have been among the most vocal in the wake of the two crashes, questioning why they weren’t told more about an anti-stall system known as the MCAS, which investigators say was a factor in both crashes.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and FAA officials have faced questions about the federal response to the risks posed by software, hardware and training issues connected with Max jets.
DeFazio’s committee is conducting a separate investigation.
Last week, DeFazio, D-Ore., and Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., chairman of the subcommittee on aviation, sent letters to Boeing, United Technologies and the FAA, requesting documents related to a light that alerts pilots when sensor readings don’t match.