Father of Ethiopian Crash Victims to Savage Boeing in Testimony

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(Bloomberg) -- A Canadian man who lost five family members, including three children, in the Ethiopian Airlines crash last March is accusing planemaker Boeing Co. of a “shameful pattern of behavior” for how it designed the 737 Max and how it has acted since the accident.

Paul Njoroge calls for a full recertification of Boeing’s best-selling model grounded since March 13 and accused the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration of “recklessly” approving the plane in testimony prepared for delivery Wednesday before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Aviation Subcommittee.

Father of Ethiopian Crash Victims to Savage Boeing in Testimony

“Boeing should not be allowed to act like a mere investment company extracting wealth to super-charge shareholder returns at the expense of safety and quality,” Njoroge said in the prepared remarks, provided by his attorney, Robert A. Clifford of Chicago.

The House committee is investigating how the 737 Max was approved with a safety system that drove down the plane’s nose repeatedly in two accidents since October after sensors malfunctioned.

Crash investigations in Indonesia and Ethiopia have not established the causes of the crashes and multiple U.S. reviews of how the plane was certified haven’t been completed.

In addition to Njoroge, Michael Stumo, whose daughter died in the Ethiopia crash, will testify. Both men are represented by attorneys who have filed dozens of lawsuits against Boeing.

Representatives from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, which is assisting both crash probes, and four aviation unions will also appear before the committee.

“We truly regret the loss of lives in both of these accidents and we are deeply sorry for the impact to the families and loved ones of those on board,” Boeing said in a statement. “These incidents and the lives lost will continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and on our minds for years to come. We are committed to working with the communities, customers and the aviation industry to help with the healing process.”

The FAA has said it won’t return the plane to service until it can be assured that it is safe. Boeing is altering the plane’s software and updating pilot training to ensure similar accidents won’t happen again.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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