MOSCOW: The US Department of Transportation has launched an investigation into the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) approval of Boeing 737 MAX planes that were involved in two recent fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday citing informed sources.
The news comes after Boeing 737 MAX planes were globally grounded last week for an indefinite period of time following the deadly crash of an aircraft of this model in Ethiopia earlier on March 10 and the accident involving a Boeing of the same type in Indonesia last October.
According to the newspaper, the probe is focused on a flight safety system, which is believed to have played a certain role in the Indonesian plane crash.
This system dubbed manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system, or MCAS was designed to prevent stalls in flaps-retracted, low-speed, nose-up flight.
The US Department of Transportation has already notified the FAA about the inquiry and demanded to keep all relevant electronic documents, the publication said.
First of all, the authorities intend to find out whether the FAA followed the established standards and engineering analyses in the certification process of the new MCAS system.
A Nairobi-bound Boeing 737 MAX 8 of the Ethiopian Airlines crashed on March 10 minutes after takeoff.
All 157 people from 35 countries who were on board were killed.
The causes of the accident are yet to be investigated.