WASHINGTON AP) – The Transportation Department is confirming that its watchdog agency will examine how the Federal Aviation Administration certified the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, the now-grounded plane involved in two fatal accidents within five months.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao asked for the audit in a letter Tuesday to Inspector General Calvin Scovel III.
Chao says an audit will improve the department’s decision-making and the public’s understanding.
A Lion Air Max 8 crashed off the coast of Indonesia last October, and an Ethiopian Airlines Max 8 crashed this month near Addis Ababa.
Investigators suspect an automated flight-control system that was not part of older 737s may have played a role in the Indonesian crash, and the Ethiopian plane had a similar, erratic flight path.