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AP source: NTSB chairman to step down at end of June

In this Oct. 29, 2019, file photo, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt...
In this Oct. 29, 2019, file photo, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt testifies before a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on 'Aviation Safety and the Future of Boeing's 737 MAX' on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Associated Press has learned that Sumwalkt will step down from his position at the end of June.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 7:24 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board will step down from his position at the end of June, and the Biden administration is expected to nominate a fellow board member to replace him, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Monday.

Robert Sumwalt, who has served as chairman of the board since 2017, is expected to step down on June 30, according to an internal communication obtained by the AP. The former commercial pilot and commercial aviation executive had served in various positions on the board, beginning in 2006.

The federal agency is charged by Congress to conduct independent probes of transportation accidents and can make urgent or longer-term safety recommendations to address issues discovered during an investigation.

Sumwalt is expected to be replaced by Jennifer Homendy, a board member who served as the agency’s public face in the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, the person familiar with the matter told the AP. The person was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

Homendy, whose nomination would be subject to congressional approval, has served as a board member since 2018. She had previously worked as a staff director for a House subcommittee.

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