Boeing reshuffles top engineers amid 737 MAX crisis

Ethiopian Red Cross workers carry a body bag with the remains of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash victims at the scene of a plane crash near the town of Bishoftu southeast of Addis Ababa

Ethiopia said on Sunday the crash had "clear similarities" with a Lion Air crash in Indonesia in October, according to initial analysis of the black boxes recovered from the wreckage of the March 10 disaster.

Separately, the Transportation Department confirmed that its watchdog agency will examine how the FAA certified the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, the now-grounded plane involved in two fatal accidents within five months.

The incident was mentioned in a preliminary report by the Indian flight authority last November.

In the case of the Lion Air crash in Indonesia, it has raised questions about whether crew used the correct procedures.

The prestige of Ethiopian Airlines, one of Africa's most successful companies, and Boeing, the world's biggest planemaker and a massive USA exporter, is at stake in the inquiry.

Lion Air did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

The Justice Department's criminal division is looking into the Boeing 737 Max 8, though the parameters of that inquiry remain unclear.

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"We will fully cooperate in the review in the Department of Transportation's audit", Boeing spokesman Charles Bickers said in an email.

Chicago-headquartered Boeing has promised a swift update of software, but regulators in Europe and Canada are shifting away from previous reliance on FAA vetting, saying they will now seek their own guarantees of the MAX planes' safety. Now, media reports indicate that CVR data is about to be published, giving a glimpse into the human side of the tragic events and raising serious questions about pilots' awareness of systems on 737 MAX planes. The agency and Boeing said they are also going to require additional training and references to it in flight manuals.

The investigation into the final minutes of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 turned on Tuesday to the secrets in the cockpit voice recorder as Boeing and a shaken global aviation industry hung on the outcome.

A former US Air Force officer and F-15 fighter pilot, Dickson retired from Delta last year after a 27-year career that included responsibility for safety, pilot training and regulatory compliance. "They didn't seem to know the trim was moving down", the source said.

The plane then crashed into the sea.

An off-duty pilot riding in the cockpit of a Boeing 737 Max 8 fixed a malfunction during the second-to-the-last flight for the aircraft, before a different flight on the same plane crashed in the Java Sea the next day, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday evening. A stall is when the airflow over a plane's wings is too weak to generate lift and keep it flying. The company on Tuesday reshuffled the top executives in its commercial airplanes unit to focus on the accident investigations.

In Ethiopia, which is leading the investigation, experts were poring over the in-flight recording of Captain Yared Getachew and First Officer Ahmednur Mohammed.

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