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Ethiopian Crash Hub: Boeing’s Q1 Profits Fall by 20% Over Grounding

Boeing says its profits for the first quarter of 2019 had fallen by 20% because of lower deliveries of its now controversial and grounded 737-Max jets.

The US plane manufacturer also withdrew profit projections for the year saying it will publish new figures soon as it resolves issues around the now grounded fast-selling product.

The March 10 Ethiopian Airlines crash in Bishoftu was the second deadly crash of the 737 Max in five months. The first was a Lion Air crash in October 2018.

The model was grounded about two weeks after the Ethiopian incident and US federal authorities are currently undertaking a rigorous certification process as Boeing tries to correct the automated flight control system blamed for the crashes.

All 157 people aboard the ET302 crash died when the jet crashed minutes into a flight bound for the Kenyan capital Nairobi. It had set off from Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport.

Who are the reviewers?

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said last month the panel would be co-chaired by retired Air Force General Darren McDew, the former head of the U.S. Transportation Command, and Lee Moak, a former president of the Air Line Pilots Association.

Chao on Monday said she was naming NASA’s former aviation safety program director Amy Pritchett and Gretchen Haskins, chief executive of HeliOffshore Ltd, an international expert in aviation safety and a former U.S. Air Force officer.

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She also named Kenneth Hylander, chief safety officer at Amtrak and a former senior safety executive at Delta and Northwest airlines, and J. David Grizzle, chairman of the board of Republic Airways and a former FAA chief counsel.

Federal prosecutors, the Transportation Department’s inspector general and lawmakers are investigating the FAA’s certification of the 737 MAX 8 aircraft. A joint review by 10 governmental air regulators is also set to start April 29.

US names experts to review Boeing certification process

The United States Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Monday named four experts to a blue-ribbon committee to review the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) aircraft certification process after two deadly Boeing 737 MAX crashes killed nearly 350 people.

The committee is “specifically tasked to review the 737 MAX 800 certification process from 2012 to 2017, and recommend improvements to the certification process.”

U.S. lawmakers have criticized the FAA’s program that allows Boeing Co (BA.N) and other manufacturers to oversee the process that ensures air worthiness and other vital safety aspects of new aircraft.

Boeing makes final changes to 737 MAX planes

Boeing has conducted a final test flight of a 737 MAX model with an updated anti-stall system prior to its certification by aviation authorities, the aerospace manufacturer said Wednesday.

CEO Dennis Muilenberg tweeted a video where he said the test flight was carried out on Tuesday, adding that test pilots have completed 120 flights totaling more than 203 hours of airtime with the software fix for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).

‘‘More than 85 percent of the 50-plus MAX operators around the globe also have had the opportunity to see the update in action during simulator sessions,” added Muilenberg.

All 737 MAX aircraft have been banned from the world’s skies since days after the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday said a portion of the proposed modifications were “operationally suitable” but said it would not rush towards approval.

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