House panel grills Boeing CEO over 737 Max safety


Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg accepted the blame

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — For the second day in a row, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg faced a withering grilling from congressional lawmakers over how their 737 Max jets were produced and certified for safety.

The House Transportation Committee, chaired by Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio, also wanted to know how Boeing handled the 2 deadly crashes that killed 346 people.

Lawmakers agreed Boeing made many mistakes and most of them revolve around the Max jet’s Flight Control System, known as MCAS.

Rep. Rick Larsen, a Democrat from Washington, fired pointed questions at Muilenburg.

“Can you identify individuals then who made these mistakes?”

“No one individual that makes decisions within these, these generally are engineering teams,” Muilenburg said at first. Then he accepted blame. “My company and I are accountable.”

DeFazio said one of the biggest mistakes was pilots were not told about or trained on MCAS.

Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio, October 30, 2019 (Nexstar)

“(Pilots) said, ‘We were the backup? How can we be backup if we don’t know something is going to take over our plane?'” DeFazio said.

Boeing sold their planes to airlines with the promise pilots would not need more training.

“Boeing offered Southwest Airlines $1 million per plane rebate if the pilots had to be retrained,” DeFazio said. “Imagine what the pressures were.”

Republican Sam Graves of Missouri partially defended Boeing by pointing out there were other factors in the crashes.

“The former chief engineer for Ethiopian Airlines filed a whistleblower complaint alleging significant problems with that airline’s maintenance, training and record keeping,” Graves said.

Muilenburg said Boeing has now enhanced the Flight Control System for safety.

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