US Transportation Secretary requests formal audit of MAX certification

According to a Bloomberg report, the extra pilot managed to diagnose the problem and disabled a malfunctioning flight-control system which averted disaster.

A different crew on the same plane the evening before had the same situation but solved it after running through three checklists, though they did not pass on that information to the doomed Indonesian crew, according to a preliminary report released in November.

Europe and Canada said they would seek their own guarantees over the safety of Boeing's 737 MAX, further complicating plans to get the aircraft flying worldwide after they were grounded in the wake of two accidents killing more than 300 people.

The jet then warned pilots incorrectly that it was stalling, and pointed its nose downwards in response.

Garneau's comments marked a break from protocol, with Canada traditionally working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates the U.S. commercial airline industry.

The French air-accident investigation agency BEA said the two crashes showed "clear similarities," and Boeing is introducing a software upgrade to its new anti-stall system that has come under scrutiny after the two crashes.

A second hearing on aviation safety is planned "in the near future to hear from industry stakeholders that would include Boeing, other aviation manufacturers, airline pilots, and other stakeholders", the committee said.

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Also Tuesday, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who had been a supporter of Dickson getting the permanent post, asked her department's Office of Inspector General to launch an audit to "compile an objective and detailed factual history" of activities that led the FAA to certify the 737 Max 8.

The FAA last week said it planned to mandate changes in the system to make it less likely to activate when there is no emergency.

The Ethiopian Airlines crash has shaken the global aviation industry and cast a shadow over the flagship Boeing model meant to be a standard for decades to come, given parallels with the Lion Air calamity off Jakarta in October. The agency and Boeing said they are also going to require additional training and references to it in flight manuals.

On Wednesday, he declined to comment on the cockpit voice recorder contents, saying they had not been made public. But rather than ground the planes immediately, American officials waited.

The combination of factors required to bring down a plane in these circumstances suggests other issues may also have occurred in the Ethiopia crash, said Jeffrey Guzzetti, who also directed accident investigations at FAA and is now a consultant. 737 Max for service before two fatal crashes of the jetliner.

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

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