Boeing reshuffles top engineers amid 737 MAX crisis

Workers are pictured next to a Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplane on the tarmac at the Boeing Renton Factory in Renton, Washington, on March 12, 2019. (AFP / Jason Redmond)
Updated 20 March 2019
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Boeing reshuffles top engineers amid 737 MAX crisis

  • Reshuffle comes as Europe and Canada consider seeking their own guarantees over the safety of Boeing’s 737 MAX
  • Global regulators have grounded the existing fleet of more than 300 MAX aircraft

SEATTLE, US: Boeing Co., facing its biggest crisis in years following deadly crashes of its flagship 737 MAX aircraft, has brought in a new vice president of engineering while dedicating another top executive to the aircraft investigations, a company email showed on Tuesday.
The management reshuffle comes as Europe and Canada said they would seek their own guarantees over the safety of Boeing’s 737 MAX, further complicating plans to get the aircraft flying worldwide after they were grounded in the wake of crashes that killed more than 300 people.
John Hamilton, formerly both vice president and chief engineer in Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes division, will focus solely on the role of chief engineer, the unit’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin McAllister told employees on Tuesday in an email seen by Reuters.
“This will allow him to fully dedicate his attention to the ongoing accident investigations,” McAllister said, adding that the staffing changes were needed as “we prioritize and bring on additional resources for the ongoing accident investigations.”
Lynne Hopper — who previously led Test & Evaluation in Boeing’s Engineering, Test & Technology group — has been named vice president of Engineering, McAllister said.
A Boeing spokesman declined to comment but confirmed the authenticity of the email.
The shakeup showed how the world’s largest plane maker was freeing up engineering resources as it faces scrutiny during crash investigations while also maintaining production of its money-spinning 737 single-aisle aircrafts.
Previously, Hamilton served as the vice president of engineering for Boeing Commercial Airplanes from April 2016 through March 2019, according to a biography on Boeing’s website.
From July 2013 through March 2016, Hamilton served as the vice president of Safety, Security and Compliance and oversaw the Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization — a program that takes on specific safety certification duties on behalf of the US Federal Aviation Administration.
Lawmakers and safety experts are questioning how thoroughly regulators vetted the MAX model and how well pilots were trained on new features.
For now, global regulators have grounded the existing fleet of more than 300 MAX aircraft, and deliveries of nearly 5,000 more — worth well over $500 billion — are on hold.

 


American arrested for death threats to Democratic lawmakers

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) talks to reporters as she heads back into the U.S. Capitol after a news conference by members of the U.S. Congress "to announce legislation to repeal President Trump's existing executive order blocking travel from majority Muslim countries" in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 54 min 22 sec ago
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American arrested for death threats to Democratic lawmakers

  • Trump recently tweeted out a video of Omar featuring footage of the World Trade Center burning juxtaposed with her comments, taken out of context to portray her attitude to the 9/11 attacks as glib

MIAMI: Police arrested a Florida man on Friday on suspicion of threatening to kill three Democratic lawmakers and expressing his hatred for controversial Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, prosecutors said.
John Kless, 49, of Broward County, is accused of leaving expletive-strewn voicemailed death threats at the Washington offices of California Representative Eric Swalwell, Detroit Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.
He allegedly said in his message to presidential hopeful Booker that “you government officials will be in the graves where you... belong.”
Kless is said to have racially abused Omar, a Somali-American former refugee, referencing a recent controversy in which she was accused — falsely, according to her defenders — of downplaying the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The freshman congresswoman has found herself in hot water since arriving in Washington for comments seen by critics as anti-Semitic.
Kless, who reportedly defended Donald Trump in the messages and warned the lawmakers to stop criticizing the president, has been charged with making threatening communications.
Some analysts have pointed to the US president’s heated rhetoric as the catalyst for a toxic atmosphere encouraging such behavior — a possibility the White House has rejected.
Trump recently tweeted out a video of Omar featuring footage of the World Trade Center burning juxtaposed with her comments, taken out of context to portray her attitude to the 9/11 attacks as glib.
The president’s language was also criticized following an anti-Semitic massacre in Pittsburgh last year — and during a week-long mail bombing spree that saw another Florida man target high-profile liberal political figures, Trump critics and the news outlet CNN.
Prosecutors say Kless used homophobic slurs in his message to Swalwell — who supports same-sex marriage rights and gun control and is also vying for the presidency.
“The day you come after our guns... is the day you’ll be dead,” Kless is alleged to have warned the lawmaker.