Brother of plane crash victim to aid review of Boeing safety

Jan 5, 2023, 8:35 PM | Updated: Jan 6, 2023, 10:59 am
FILE - Capt. Brian Eyre, who was serving as first officer, goes through pre-flight preparations in ...

FILE - Capt. Brian Eyre, who was serving as first officer, goes through pre-flight preparations in the flight deck before the first Alaska Airlines passenger flight on a Boeing 737-9 Max airplane, Monday, March 1, 2021, prior to a flight to San Diego from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. Federal officials have named two dozen people to examine safety practices at Boeing, and one of them is a man whose sister died in the crash of a Boeing Max jetliner. The Federal Aviation Administration said the panel includes representatives from NASA, airlines and airline unions. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials have appointed a group of experts to examine safety practices at Boeing, including an aerospace engineer whose sister was killed in one of the crashes involving Boeing 737 Max jets.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the panel – required under a 2020 law passed by Congress — includes people from the FAA, NASA, airlines and aviation manufacturers. The group will have nine months to issue findings and recommendations.

Among the panel members named Thursday is Javier de Luis, a lecturer in aeronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His sister, Graziella de Luis Ponce, was a passenger on the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing Max that crashed in March 2019.

De Luis has been critical of Boeing for designing, and the FAA for approving, a flight-control system that could tip the plane’s nose down based on readings from a single sensor. That sensor malfunctioned on his sister’s plane and another Boeing Max that crashed in October 2018 in Indonesia. Everybody on board both planes — 346 people in all — died in the crashes.

“The fact that this airplane was allowed to fly with a system, that if one sensor failed would kill everybody on board — not once but twice — is a monumental failure not on Ethiopian but on Boeing and the FAA,” de Luis told the Seattle Times. “An airplane should not fall out of the sky because one sensor fails. End of story.”

Other members of the panel include a NASA safety-culture expert, the manager of the FAA office that oversees Boeing, executives from Southwest, American and United — all of which use the Max and have orders to buy many more — and representatives from several unions, including one that represents Boeing engineers.

Boeing Co., which is based in Arlington, Virginia, said it had no comment on the formation of the safety panel.

Congress directed the FAA to create the review panel as part of changes in FAA oversight of the company after the crashes. An 18-month investigation by the House Transportation Committee was scathing in its criticism of both Boeing and the FAA, which lawmakers said was too cozy with Boeing and paid insufficient attention to the flight-control system implicated in both crashes.

All Max jets were grounded worldwide for nearly two years while Boeing overhauled the system. The FAA cleared the planes to fly again in late 2020.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - A sign is shown on a Google building at their campus in Mountain View, Calif., Sept. 24, 201...
Associated Press

Google hopes ‘Bard’ will outsmart ChatGPT, Microsoft in AI

Google is girding for a battle of wits in the field of artificial intelligence with “Bard," a conversational service apparently aimed at countering the popularity of the ChatGPT tool backed by Microsoft.
16 hours ago
FILE - A Boeing 737 Max jet prepares to land at Boeing Field following a test flight in Seattle, Se...
Associated Press

Boeing plans to cut about 2,000 finance and HR jobs in 2023

Boeing plans to make staffing cuts in the aerospace company's finance and human resources departments in 2023, with a loss of around 2,000 jobs
16 hours ago
(Jennifer Bakos via AP)...
Associated Press

1 missing, 2 rescued from crab boat off Washington coast

A crew member remains missing and two others were rescued from crab boat that sank near Willapa Bay in southwest Washington on Sunday evening, according to the Coast Guard.
16 hours ago
child marriages...
Associated Press

Proposed bill would pay incarcerated workers minimum wage

A Washington state lawmaker who has spent time in prison wants the state to pay incarcerated workers minimum wage for doing their jobs.
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Space Force vows ‘above and beyond’ cleanup of Maui spill

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — The U.S. Space Force said a power surge during a lightning storm likely caused a mechanical issue that allowed about 700 gallons (2,750 liters) of diesel fuel to spill last week at the environmentally sensitive and culturally important summit of Haleakala mountain on Hawaii’s Maui Island, authorities said. Brig. Gen. Anthony […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Associate of Russian oligarch accused of violating sanctions

NEW YORK (AP) — An associate of a Russian billionaire was charged in an indictment unsealed Tuesday with violating U.S. sanctions and money laundering. The indictment charged Vladimir Voronchenko, a Russian who is a permanent U.S. resident, with joining a scheme to make over $4 million in payments to maintain four U.S. properties belonging to […]
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Brother of plane crash victim to aid review of Boeing safety