FAA acting head stands by safety certification

WASHINGTON (AP) — The acting head of the Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday that Boeing should have done more to explain an automated flight-control system on its 737 Max aircraft before two deadly crashes, but he defended his agency’s safety certification of the plane and its decision not to ground the jet until other regulators around the world had already done so.

The FAA official, Daniel Elwell, said he expects Boeing to submit a fix to the plane’s flight-control software “in the next week or so.” The FAA will analyze the changes, conduct test flights and determine what additional pilot training is needed before letting the planes fly again, he said.

The FAA has been criticized for being too cozy with aircraft maker Boeing Co. in approving the 737 Max jet. The Max has crashed twice in the past year, killing 346 people in Ethiopia and Indonesia.