FAA chief says 737 Max crash situations at the moment are "not possible" after design and coaching modifications
The head of the Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday he was "100% confident" in the Boeing 737 Max after the planes were grounded for nearly two years after two fatal crashes.
"It is the most scrutinized transport aircraft in history and it is operational," said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson less than an hour after signing an order to clear the aircraft for re-flight.
Design and training changes made after the crashes make it "impossible for the planes to have the same accidents that unfortunately killed 346 people" as Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March 2019 Dickson said in an interview with CNBC's "Squawk Box". Dickson, a former airline pilot, flew the updated 737 Max himself in September. "These conditions can no longer occur."
The crashes of the nearly new 737 Max jets, both shortly after their take-off, resulted in a worldwide landing of Boeing's best-selling aircraft.
The pilots of both crashed Max flights fought against the aircraft's automated flight control system, which was the focus of several investigations into the crashes. The pilots were not notified of the system and the mentions were removed from the training manuals when they were delivered to airlines.
Boeing has since changed the system to give pilots more control and install more redundancies.
Dickson said he plans to speak to the victims' family members on Wednesday.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Steve Dickson wears a face mask as he exits a Boeing Co. 737 Max aircraft after a test flight in Seattle, Washington, USA, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020.
Mike Siegel | Bloomberg | Getty Images