John Hamilton, Boeing’s chief commercial aircraft engineer, is retiring, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. Notably, Hamilton attended a Congressional hearing with Boeing CEO Dennis Millenberg over the Boeing 737 MAX crash to explain the design and production of the MAX model.
Hamilton has worked at Boeing for 35 years and served as chief project engineer for several aircraft, including the 737 NG, the report said. Boeing said Hamilton plans to retire as chief engineer of commercial aircraft in 2018, but he stayed to help put MAX back into service.
In the wake of the 2018 Lions flight in Indonesia, a flight control software called MCAS on the Boeing 737MAX aircraft was identified as an accident-related, and Boeing engineers began updating the software. In March 2019, however, another crash occurred on the Air Asia Boeing 737MAX. The two accidents killed 346 people and the Boeing 737MAX was grounded or banned worldwide.
At two congressional hearings in late October, Hamilton and Milenberg explained max design and production together. Hamilton acknowledged that Boeing had made some mistakes. This includes failing to test whether a faulty sensor will trigger an aircraft’s anti-stall system. Hamilton also allegedly defended Boeing’s safety culture.
Boeing reportedly said it was Lynne Hopper, Boeing’s vice president of commercial aircraft engineering, who took over.