(Politico) BRIANNA GURCIULLO and SAM MINTZ 10/28/2019 05:06 AM Boeings grounded 737 MAX could be cleared to return to the skies in the U.S. as early as this year despite a continued cascade of damning revelations about the design and approval of the passenger jet that crashed in Indonesia and Ethiopia killing a total of 346 people. If the MAX flies again soon it will be a major test of the international credibility of U.S. aviation regulators who risk finding themselves out of step with the rest of the world if authorities in Europe and elsewhere continue to prohibit the aircraft from flying in their airspace. The Federal Aviation Administrations evaluation process for returning the MAX to service is moving along even as the agency and Boeing continue to face questions about how the plane gained regulatory approval in 2017. Indonesias government issued a report Friday faulting oversight by both the company and the agency a week after congressional investigators released 2016 emails and text messages in which a former Boeing pilot had boasted of playing jedi-mind tricks on regulators. This week represents a crucial test for the future of Boeing whose CEO Dennis Muilenburg will testify before Congress in what promises to be two days of brutal questions about the twin disasters. Restoring the trust of the flying public may be an even harder task.
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