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Boeing could get hit with subpoena over two deadly 737 Max 8 crashes

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A powerful Democratic senator is willing to use the House Transportation Committee’s subpoena power on Boeing following a second deadly crash of its 737 Max 8 plane this week.

Peter DeFazio, a representative from Oregon who chairs the chamber’s transportation committee, told The New York Times on Wednesday that he plans to seek copies of “all relevant communications” between the company and the government’s aviation regulator.

“This warrants vigorous investigation,” he told the Times. “We’re going to get anything in writing there is to get.”

The committee plans to focus on the Federal Aviation Administration’s certification of the 737 Max and why the agency did not require more training on the updated version of the plane.

US officials grounded the plane model on Wednesday, following similar bans by much of the developed word the day prior. President Trump’s emergency order was preceded by calls from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to follow the example set by Europe, China, and many other countries.

Daniel Elwell, acting administrator of the FAA, said the government waited to ground the planes until it had sufficient information about any link to the Lion Air Crash, which involved the same plane model in a similar crash sequence when it plunged into the Java Sea in October.

“We got new information yesterday, and we acted on it,” he told NBC’s Good Morning America on Wednesday. “It is, in our minds now, a link that is close enough to ground the airplanes.”

“When the FAA makes a decision like grounding airplanes, any safety decision of that magnitude, we do it based on data,” he continued. “We’re a data-driven organization…you have to establish at least more than a gut feeling that two crashes are related before you ground an entire fleet.”

More on Boeing’s 737 Max 8 and the Ethiopian Airlines disaster:

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