(NBC News) Boeing's grounded 737 Max airliner could soon be a step closer to returning to the skies.
Airlines around the world banned that plane from flying after two crashes in five months killed more than 300 people, but new test flights could take place soon.
Members of the House Aviation Subcommittee pressed the interim head of the Federal Aviation Administration for answers on how and why the crashes occurred during a hearing Wednesday.
An automated system called "M-CAS," designed to make the new plane fly like older models is a focus of the crash investigations.
The hearing came a day after CBS News aired a recording of a meeting reportedly between American Airlines pilots and Boeing which took place less than a month after the first crash.
"We're the last line of defense to being in that smoking hole. And we need the knowledge," a pilot says on the recording.
NBC News has not verified the recording, and Boeing has declined to comment on the meeting.
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