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International Panel Set to Criticize FAA’s Approval Process for Boeing 737 MAX Jets

A panel of international air-safety regulators is finishing a report expected to criticize the initial U.S. approval process for Boeing Co. BA -0.24% ’s 737 MAX jets, according to people briefed on the conclusions, while urging a wide-ranging reassessment of how complex automated systems should be certified on future airliners.

As part of roughly a dozen findings, these government and industry officials said, the task force is poised to call out the Federal Aviation Administration for what it describes as a lack of clarity and transparency in the way the FAA delegated authority to the plane maker to assess the safety of certain flight-control features. The upshot, according to some of these people, is that essential design changes didn’t receive adequate FAA attention.

The report, these officials said, also is expected to fault the agency for what it describes as inadequate data sharing with foreign authorities during its original certification of the MAX two years ago, along with relying on mistaken industrywide assumptions about how average pilots would react to certain flight-control emergencies. FAA officials have said they are devising new pilot-reaction guidelines after two fatal crashes.

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Indonesia to Fault 737 MAX Design, U.S. Oversight in Lion Air Crash Report

Indonesian investigators have determined that design and oversight lapses played a central role in the fatal crash of a Boeing 737 MAX jet in October, according to people familiar with the matter, in what is expected to be the first formal government finding of fault.

The draft conclusions, these people said, also identify a string of pilot errors and maintenance mistakes as causal factors in the fatal plunge of the Boeing Co. plane into the Java Sea, echoing a preliminary report from Indonesia last year.

Misfires of an automated flight-control feature called MCAS on the MAX fleet led to the nosedive of the Lion Air jet and a similar crash of an Ethiopian Airlines MAX shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa in March. The two crashes took 346 lives, prompted the grounding of all 737 MAX planes and disrupted the global aviation industry.

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Thomas Cook Shuts Down, Forcing Britain to Fly Thousands Home

LONDON—British travel agency Thomas Cook was born to cater to moneyed Victorians, taking them on grand tours around Europe and the U.S. It evolved over nearly two centuries into a charter service for European budget holidaymakers.

Early Monday, the 178-year-old company went bust, stranding as many as 500,000 of these modern-day globe-trotters and triggering what the U.K. government said was its biggest-ever peacetime repatriation.

The marooning of an estimated 150,000 U.K.-based travelers alone by the bankruptcy set off round-the-clock news coverage here. It also provided newly minted Prime Minister Boris Johnson —already fighting both the European Union and his country’s Parliament over Brexit—a fresh crisis.

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The New Airport Congestion: Plane Spotters Crowd Fancy Hotel Bars

The new TWA Hotel at JFK cracks down on miserly aviation hobbyists; ‘it was getting crazy crowded’.  At the rooftop pool bar at the new TWA Hotel, nobody watches as the sun sets over the distant Manhattan skyline.

But when a British Airways 747 takes off, a half a dozen heads turn in unison to admire a rare retro paint scheme on the jumbo jet: a midnight-blue belly and the airline’s coat-of-arms emblazoned on the tail.

“All the action is right in front of you,” says Eric Dunetz, who has whiled away several weekends at the pool bar since the hotel opened in May, sometimes for upward of 10 hours at a time. “It’s a good place to relax and just watch planes.”

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  • International Panel Set to Criticize FAA’s Approval Process for Boeing 737 MAX Jets

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  • Indonesia to Fault 737 MAX Design, U.S. Oversight in Lion Air Crash Report

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  • Thomas Cook Shuts Down, Forcing Britain to Fly Thousands Home

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