CEO will tell Congress that Boeing made mistakes on Max jet

CEO will tell Congress that Boeing made mistakes on Max jet

On the anniversary of the first of two deadly crashes involving 737 Max jets, Boeing’s CEO will tell Congress that the aircraft company knows it made mistakes and is throwing everything into fixing the plane.

“We have learned and are still learning from these accidents,” Dennis Muilenburg said in comments prepared for delivery Tuesday to a Senate committee. “We know we made mistakes and got some things wrong. We own that, and we are fixing them.”

A key lawmaker said Monday that Boeing should have got things right the first time, before the Max began carrying passengers.

Muilenburg is scheduled to testify Tuesday before the Senate Commerce Committee, then again on Wednesday before the House Transportation Committee. Boeing released his prepared statement Monday.

His appearances in Washington come as Boeing faces investigations by both committees and a criminal probe by the Justice Department. It is also being sued by families of some of the 346 people who died in the crashes of a Max off the coast of Indonesia on Oct. 29, 2018, and another in Ethiopia on March 10.

In their final report on the first crash, Indonesia investigators said last week that Boeing’s design of a key flight-control system made the plane vulnerable if a single sensor failed — disregarding the aviation industry’s long reliance on redundant systems to prevent disaster. They also faulted Lion Air, which operated the plane, and U.S. regulators who approved it for flight.

Rep. Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, said he will ask Muilenburg why Boeing didn’t tell the Federal Aviation Administration about changes during development of the Max that made the flight-control system called MCAS more powerful. DeFazio suggested that Boeing concealed the true power of MCAS to discourage regulators from examining the system more closely.

On both fatal flights, faulty sensors caused MCAS to push the planes’ noses down, and pilots were unable to save the aircraft. Boeing is now making the nose-down pitch less frequent and powerful, and it is adding redundancy by tying it to two sensors and two computers instead of one each at a time.

“They seem to have done what they should have done to begin with, which is they made the system less radical,” DeFazio told reporters. “There are numerous regulators looking at this, it isn’t just going to be the FAA. This will be the most thoroughly scrutinized fix in the history of the aviation industry.”

Congress is expected to consider changes to the way FAA certifies new planes and its practice of deputizing employees of Boeing and other aircraft manufacturers to perform safety tests on key components.

Some relatives of passengers who died in the crashes want Boeing banned from conducting safety reviews — they want FAA inspectors to do all that work. Such a change would require a big increase in FAA’s budget. According to DeFazio, there are about 45 FAA inspectors overseeing 1,200 Boeing employees who conduct much of the actual testing.

Several relatives of Max victims want Muilenburg to pay a personal price for the accidents and Boeing’s response.

“We don’t think Muilenburg should be CEO anymore,” said Michael Stumo, whose daughter Samya was on the Ethiopian Airlines Max. “He presided through this, minimizing it, trying to convince everyone it was pilot error, everything was fine, it’s a safe plane. Everything so far has been dissembling, denial, pointing the finger somewhere else.”

Muilenburg, who is expected to meet with some of the family members Wednesday, was stripped of his title as chairman of the Boeing board earlier this month. The most senior executive dismissed so far was the head of Boeing’s commercial airplanes division, Kevin McAllister.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta recorded a single-day record of over 57,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta hits daily record of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

Central zone has administered 111,735 doses of the COVID-19

Alberta reported an additional 1,980 cases of COVID-19 Friday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer adds 37th death from COVID-19, active cases drop

Alberta Health identified an additional 1,980 cases of the virus province-wide

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman didn’t expect to get hit with a double whammy at… Continue reading

A courtroom at the Edmonton Law Courts building, in Edmonton on Friday, June 28, 2019. The effect of the coronavirus pandemic will have a lasting impact on the Canadian justice system warn a number of legal experts. The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench announced Sunday it would adjourn all scheduled trials across the province for at least 10-weeks limiting hearings to only emergency or urgent matters. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton mother found guilty of manslaughter in death of five-year-old girl

EDMONTON — An Edmonton woman was found guilty Friday of manslaughter in… Continue reading

A Statistics Canada 2016 Census mailer sits on the key board of a laptop after arriving in the mail at a residence in Ottawa, May 2, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Statistics Canada sees more demand to fill out census online during pandemic

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the response to the census is higher… Continue reading

Travellers, who are not affected by new quarantine rules, arrive at Terminal 3 at Pearson Airport in Toronto, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Ottawa will create a new digital platform to help in processing immigration applications more quickly and efficiently after COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for a faster shift to a digital immigration system, the immigration department said. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ottawa to create new system to tackle delays in processing immigration applications

Ottawa says it will create a new digital platform to help process… Continue reading

A man on a skateboard and a young woman pass large letters spelling out UBC at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver on November 22, 2015. The federal government is writing off more than $200 million in outstanding student loan payments that officials will never be able to collect. Recently released spending documents show the government won't collect $203.5 million in debts from 34,240 students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan

VANCOUVER — A B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearing is set to start… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday’s $25 million Lotto max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $25 million jackpot… Continue reading

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes

MADISON, Wis. — States asked the federal government this week to withhold… Continue reading

Toronto FC coach Chris Armas talks with his players during a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match against Mexico's Cruz Azul at Azteca stadium in Mexico City, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Fernando Llano
Toronto FC coach Chris Armas returns to Red Bull Arena to face former team

Toronto FC coach Chris Armas returns to Red Bull Arena to face former team

Most Read