Crash victim families seek new type certification for Boeing 737 Max

Relatives of 737 Max crash victims want regulators to re-certificate the troubled Boeing narrowbody as a completely new aircraft, and only after crash investigations are complete.

That was one message delivered to US lawmakers on 17 July by relatives including Paul Njoroge, whose wife, three children and mother-in-law died in the March crash of Ethiopian Airlines flights 302.

The 737 Max is “too different from the original certified plane”, Njoroge says in testimony during a hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Aviation Subcommittee.

Njoroge testified “because my wife would have wanted me to”, he says, adding that aircraft safety improvements “would be good for the world”.

“Re-certification must take place in combination with a full legislative fix for the aviation safety system,” Njoroge says.

Investigations into the crashes of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 and Lion Air flight 610 remain ongoing, but evidence indicates automated flight control software created by Boeing automatically trimmed the aircraft into dives.

The software was designed to make the Max fly like the earlier-generation 737NG. The crashes killed 346 passengers and crew, prompting the global grounding of the 737 Max in March. Boeing is coordinating with FAA to certificate an updated version of the 737 Max’s flight control software.

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