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FAA will lift US grounding of Boeing 737 MAX on Wednesday, sources say – KING5.com

Sources tell KING 5 that the Federal Aviation Administration will lift the 20-month grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX in the United States on Wednesday.

Sources tell KING 5 that the Federal Aviation Administration will lift the 20-month grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX in the United States on Wednesday. 

The 737 MAX fleet was grounded worldwide in March 2019 after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people. Boeing has since been working to update software, computers and pilot training for the MAX.

American Airlines is planning to use 737 MAX planes for commercial flights by the end of 2020, pending the FAA’s approval.

Renton City Councilmember Randy Corman said, “A lot of our residents work for Boeing, a lot of them have been working really hard to get to this day, and a lot of our residents work for the FAA and they’ve been working really hard to get to this day, so there’s a lot of reason to celebrate, it’s very good news for us.”

Some families of crash victims are speaking out against the return of the fleet.

These family members still vow never to set foot on a 737 MAX, urging major overhauls in how the engines are affixed to the airplane that could lead to stalling. Other loved ones say the plane should never fly again, what they call “Axe the MAX.”

RELATED: Top FAA official flies revamped grounded Boeing 737 MAX: ‘We’re in the home stretch’

Michael Stumo lost his 24-year-old daughter Samya Rose Stumo aboard Ethiopian Flight 302. 

“I think we’ve had an impact,” Stumo said about his pressure on Congress and the FAA. “It’s not just been us, other international aviation safety regulators don’t trust FAA anymore.”

Crash victim Samya Rose Stumo also has a well-known family member. Her grand uncle is consumer advocate Ralph Nader.  

KING 5’s Glenn Farley reached Nader by phone. He’s been critical of the FAA’s job of recertifying the MAX and is not alone in accusing the FAA of not being transparent about the data.   

“They’ve allowed Boeing to regulate the FAA, instead of the reverse,” Nader said. “When the stealth MCAS software literally took control of the plane away from the pilots, and after a number of ups and downs, drove it right into the ground and the family of Rose Stumo want to make sure that this never happens to anyone else. They’re fighting, the families are organized.”

Brittany Riffel of Redding, California lost her husband and brother-in-law, also aboard Ethiopan Flight 302. She was 7 months pregnant at the time.

“We are speaking up and concerned because we don’t want anybody to go through what we have all gone through,” Riffel said. “I really, truly hope the MAX 8 is safe. I would want nothing more for it to be safe in the air, and have no more lives at cost to the MAX 8. That’s what this is all about.”

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