Boeing's chief engineer who oversaw the 737 Max is retiring, just one month after testifying before Congress with the beleaguered company's CEO

Jacquelyn Martin/AP PhotoFile photo: Boeing Commercial Aeroplanes Vice President and Chief Engineer John Hamilton, testifies during a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

John Hamilton, the chief engineer for Boeing’s commercial aeroplane division, is retiring, according to the Seattle Times.

The news was shared in a memo to employees from the head of Boeing Commercial Aeroplanes, Stan Deal, the newspaper reported.

Hamilton was appointed in March to oversee Boeing’s response to the two deadly 737 Max crashes. He appeared alongside Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg for two Congressional hearings last month, offering technical answers and insight alongside Muilenburg’s testimony.

In the memo announcing Hamilton’s retirement, Deal and Greg Hyslop, Boeing’s chief engineer, wrote that Hamilton had originally planned to retire last year but chose to stay with the company to help with the 737 Max crisis. The first crash, Lion Air 610 in Indonesia, occurred in late October 2018.

The 737 Max has remained grounded worldwide since the second crash, Ethiopian Airlines 302, in March of this year. The company has been developing a software fix for MCAS, the automated flight control system faulted for the crashes, as well as redesigning the plane’s flight computer.

Boeing has maintained that the plane could be approved to fly by the end of 2019 – however, most airlines and industry insiders expect the plane to remain grounded through at least early 2020.

Lynne Hopper, who previously oversaw Boeing’s test flight operations, will replace Hamilton, the Seattle Times reported.

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