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Boeing CEO Grilled by Lawmakers Over 737 MAX Crashes



Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg went before the United States Senate Commerce Committee for the first time Tuesday and was grilled by lawmakers about the two deadly crashes involving the 737 MAX 8.

According to, senators conducting the interviews raised questions about Boeing putting profits before safety as it pushed to get the fleet of MAX planes into service, with some officials calling the aircraft “flying coffins.”

Muilenburg and other company officials have been accused of knowing about problems with the automated control system (MCAS), which was a contributing factor in both crashes. Senator Roger Wicker revealed messages between company officials that acknowledged MCAS issues and showed “a disturbing level of casualness and flippancy.”

Another senator, Richard Blumenthal, accused Boeing of rushing the approval process and engaging in a “pattern of deliberate concealment.” In response, Muilenburg admitted the airplane manufacturer made mistakes and “learned from both accidents and identified changes that need to be made.”

Muilenburg said Boeing has worked tirelessly since the grounding of the MAX fleet in March to fix the software that caused the deadly crashes and overhaul its review procedures. Lawmakers claim the delays in re-certification cast doubt on the legitimacy of the initial Federal Aviation Administration approval.

According to Reuters, Muilenburg will face a second day of questions Wednesday, specifically from U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio, who heads the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. DeFazio said the committee’s lengthy investigation into the MAX has turned up significant questions about Boeing’s decision-making.

As for the grounded MAX fleet and the impacted carriers, Southwest Airlines announced earlier in October that it extended its 737 flight cancellations until February 8, 2020. American Airlines also extended its MAX cancellations through at least January 15.

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