In Brutal Senate Hearing, Boeing Admits Its Safety Assessments of 737 MAX Fell Short
MAX model made of a 1967 jetliner that Boeing debuted in 1967
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October 30, 2019 - by Leslie Josephs for cnbc.com
- Senators grill Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg about safety problems with the plane and for not sufficiently informing pilots about changes it made.
- The planes remain grounded as Boeing works on a software fix.
- Boeing's chief engineer says in hindsight the safety assumptions were wrong.
Boeing executives admitted to lawmakers in a tense hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday that the company made mistakes in developing its troubled 737 Max plane, grounded worldwide after two crashes killed 346 people.
It was Boeing's most public admission that it botched the design of its highest-selling plane.
In a more than two-hour hearing, members of the Senate Commerce Committee railed against CEO Dennis Muilenburg for safety problems in the plane and for not sufficiently informing pilots about changes it made to the new MAX model of the jetliner that Boeing debuted in 1967. Because the plane was a modified design Boeing was able to get it to market faster than if it were were an all-new aircraft.
Muilenburg took a remorseful tone, recognizing mistakes with the plane.
"On behalf of myself and the Boeing company, we are sorry, we are deeply and truly sorry," Muilenburg said, "We've made mistakes and we got some things wrong."
At times, senators were dismayed after Muilenburg said he didn't know until a few weeks ago about the details of e-mail messages between a former Boeing pilot and the FAA in which the pilot boasted about "jedi-mind tricking" regulators into approving training materials and instructing the FAA to delete a flight-control system implicated in the two crashes...
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