Boeing faces growing pressure in Washington over 737 MAX crashes

Some 13 minutes into the fight, contact with the airliner was lost, as months-old Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 189 passengers and crew on board.

The prestige of Ethiopian Airlines, one of Africa's most successful companies, and Boeing, the world's biggest planemaker and a massive US exporter, is at stake in the inquiry.

The captain was at the controls of Lion Air flight JT610 when the almost new jet took off from Jakarta, and the first officer was handling the radio, according to a preliminary report issued in November.

Boeing Co's commercial airplane division, facing its biggest crisis in years following deadly crashes of its flagship 737 MAX aircraft, has brought in a new vice president of engineering while dedicating another top executive to the aircraft investigations, a company email showed on Tuesday.

Boeing Co faced growing pressure in Washington on Wednesday with USA lawmakers calling for executives to testify about two crashed 737 MAX jets even as the world's biggest planemaker works to overcome obstacles to returning the grounded fleet to the skies.

From July 2013 through March 2016, Hamilton served as the vice president of Safety, Security and Compliance and oversaw the Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization - a program that takes on specific safety certification duties on behalf of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

Ethiopia said on Sunday the crash had "clear similarities" with a Lion Air crash in Indonesia in October, according to initial analysis of the black boxes recovered from the wreckage of the March 10 disaster.

Wheels from the crashed Lion Air flight JT 610
ULET IFANSASTI GETTYWheels from the crashed Lion Air flight JT 610

Based on interviews with current and former engineers involved in the evaluations, the newspaper said the safety analysis understated the power of the new flight control system and failed to account for how it might reset itself each time a pilot responded.

In the case of the Lion Air crash in Indonesia, it has raised questions about whether crew used the correct procedures.

Boeing declined to comment, while the Indonesian safety committee did not immediately reply to CNBC's request for comment.

The incident was mentioned in a preliminary report by the Indian flight authority last November.

On the same aircraft the evening before the crash, a captain at Lion Air's full-service sister carrier, Batik Air, was riding along in the cockpit and solved the similar flight control problems, two of the sources said.

The report also did not include data from the cockpit voice recorder, which was not recovered from the ocean floor until January. Why didn't we put safety first? The plane then hit water.

Canada said it would independently certify the 737 MAX in the future, rather than accepting FAA validation, and would conduct an "exhaustive review" of the automated flight control system in MAX aircraft, known as MCAS, which experts believe may have played a role in both crashes.

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