Boe­ing set­tles 63 law­suits tied to 2018 In­done­sian crash

Orlando Sentinel - - BUSINESS -

CHICAGO — Boe­ing has set­tled about half of the law­suits filed in fed­eral court over the Oc­to­ber 2018 crash of a 737 Max jet off the coast of In­done­sia.

A Boe­ing spokesman said Friday that the com­pany has set­tled 63 cases tied to the crash of a plane flown by In­done­sia’s Lion Air.

The com­pany did not dis­close terms of the set­tle­ments.

A lawyer for Boe­ing re­vealed the pace of ne­go­ti­a­tions with fam­i­lies of pas­sen­gers dur­ing a hear­ing in fed­eral district court Thurs­day in Chicago.

Many of the law­suits blame Boe­ing for not telling pi­lots about a new flight-con­trol sys­tem that re­peat­edly pushed the nose of the plane down be­fore it crashed shortly af­ter take­off, killing all 189 aboard.

Boe­ing faces dozens of ad­di­tional law­suits over a se­cond Max crash four months later in Ethiopia that killed 157.

Max jets have been grounded world­wide since March, and Boe­ing did not re­ceive any new or­ders for the plane for sev­eral months. The Chicagob­ased com­pany got a boost this week, how­ever, when Tur­key’s SunEx­press an­nounced it will buy 10 more Max jets and a startup bud­get car­rier in Kaza­khstan said it plans to or­der 30 Max jets.

For the past year, Boe­ing has been mak­ing changes to flight soft­ware on the Max. The com­pany re­cently said it ex­pects Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion ap­proval in Jan­uary for pi­lot-train­ing ma­te­rial. That would be the last ma­jor step be­fore U.S. air­lines can re­sume us­ing their Max jets, but first Boe­ing must demon­strate its work on one or more cer­ti­fi­ca­tion flights with the FAA, which have not yet been sched­uled.

Last week, FAA Ad­min­is­tra­tor Stephen Dick­son said “there is a lot of pres­sure to re­turn this air­craft to ser­vice quickly.”

Sep­a­rately, a key law­maker said this week he wants an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of FAA over­sight of re­pair shops, cit­ing a Florida com­pany that re­paired a sen­sor that mis­fired dur­ing the Lion Air flight, trig­ger­ing the nose-down ac­tion of the plane.

Peter DeFazio, chair­man of the House Transporta­tion Com­mit­tee, said rev­e­la­tions about Xtra Aerospace made him ques­tion the work of the FAA, which has 729 in­spec­tors to po­lice more than 4,000 re­pair shops. The FAA re­voked Xtra’s cer­tifi­cate last month.


SunEx­press CEO Jens Bischof said the car­rier will buy more Boe­ing Max jets.

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