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US names investigator as representative to China Boeing 737-800 crash probe

US names investigator as representative to China Boeing 737-800 crash probe

People sit in an area where relatives of the passengers of the China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane wait for news, at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China, on Mar 22, 2022. (Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

WASHINGTON: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said on Monday (Mar 21) it had appointed a senior air safety investigator as a US accredited representative to the investigation of the crash of a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 near Wuzhou, China.

Representatives from Boeing, CFM, a joint venture of General Electric and Safran that produced the engines, and the Federal Aviation Administration will serve as technical advisers, the NTSB added.

Under an international agreement, the United States can serve as a representative to the crash probe since the plane was manufactured in the United States.

It is not clear if or when the NTSB will travel to the crash site in China.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

After a 2018 Boeing 737 MAX crash in Indonesia, the NTSB immediately dispatched investigators to Indonesia to participate in the Indonesian government's investigation.

Then NTSB Chair Robert Sumwalt said in 2019 testimony before Congress that during the search for the "black boxes" - flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit voice recorder (CVR) - "an NTSB investigator was stationed onboard one of the search vessels."

BOEING OFFERS SUPPORT FOR PROBE

Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun told employees that the planemaker has offered the full support of its technical experts in the investigation of the crash.

Calhoun said in an email to employees he was limited by what Boeing could say about the investigation being led by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

"Trust that we will be doing everything we can to support our customer and the accident investigation during this difficult time, guided by our commitment to safety, transparency, and integrity at every step," Calhoun said.

Source: Reuters/ec

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