“I like what I saw on the flight,” said Dickson, a former airline pilot who flew earlier versions of the 737.
“That doesn’t mean I won’t have any debriefing items in the future,” said Dickson after his two-hour flight from Boeing Field in Seattle.
Dickson said he would like to see improvements “not so much in the procedures as in the narrative that describes the procedures.”
The victim’s daughter criticizes the escape
The daughter of Joseph Waithaka, who was killed in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, called the flight a “gimmick”.
“It’s nothing but a clown in a suit to reassure the public that everything is fine,” Zipporah Kuria said in an email shared by her lawyer. “It’s clearly a PR stunt for the FAA and a free endorsement for Boeing.”
Dickson told reporters the flight was “not a publicity stunt”.
“It was important to me to understand the training and handling of the aircraft,” said Dickson, who prepared in a flight simulator and flew the actual aircraft with a pilot from the Boeing company.
He also said that concerns about the safety of the aircraft raised by the FAA’s safety engineers earlier this month are being examined by the officers certifying the aircraft. The safety engineers said in a document presented to the FAA by their union that additional work would be required before the jet should be cleared for passenger flights.
Dickson would not address the specific concerns and say that there is “a process to respond to and review the comments” but that he takes pride in the agency’s work of asking questions and preventing “groupthink” .
“The problem is that it was compliant but not safe and people died,” said committee chairman Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat.