Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg opened his Senate testimony on Tuesday with an apology.
& # 39; On behalf of myself and the Boeing company, we are deeply and sincerely sorry. as husband and father I am deeply saddened by your losses & he said on Capitol Hill. & # 39; I think of you and your loved ones every day and I know that our entire Boeing team does that too. I know that this probably does not offer much comfort and healing at this time. & # 39;
Muilenburg was drawn to the congress to discuss what Boeing did behind the scenes with the problematic Boeing 737 MAX planes involved in two fatal crashes – Lion Air Flight 610 on October 28, 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines flights 302, which took place in March 10, 2019, killing 346 together, with one senator flying the aircraft & # 39; flying coffins & # 39; called.
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg testified on Tuesday for the Senate Trade Commission on the anniversary of one of the two Boeing 737 MAX crashes
Relatives of accident victims were behind Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg during his Senate statement on Tuesday
Sen. Richard Blumenthal asked relatives of the victims to stand up and hold up posters of their loved ones before embarrassing Muilenburg for the & # 39; flying coffins & # 39; from the company
A woman is holding a poster with the pictures of all the deaths in the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March
A Boeing 737 MAX 8 takes off. The aircraft were grounded after two crashes in which 346 people died together
Officials inspect an engine that has been repaired from the crashed Lion Air jet in Jakarta, Indonesia
Officials of the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating debris from the Lion Air crash in Jakarta, Indonesia
Parts of the engine and landing gear of the Boeing 373 MAX flight that crashed in Bishoftu, Ethiopia in March of this year
Now the entire fleet is on the ground, with consequences for American airlines, American and Southwest.
& # 39; Every day drives us to improve the safety of our aircraft and our industry & # 39 ;, Muilenburg said about the crashes.
& # 39; We will never forget it, & # 39; he said. & # 39; And that is our commitment to the future. & # 39;
Asked at the hearing whether he would resign, Muilenburg said that & # 39; not what I'm focusing on & # 39 ;.
He also refused to say whether he or the board considered his resignation after the aircraft was taken into service again.
Boeing published full-page advertisements in major newspapers showing condolences to the families and loved ones of those who died in the Tuesday crashes.
& # 39; These two accidents happened on my watch and I have a great sense of responsibility & # 39 ;, said Muilenburg, who was robbed of his Boeing chair title earlier this month by the board.
Relatives, with photos of crash victims, were only three rows behind Muilenburg during his testimony.
During Senator Richard Blumenthal's turn to ask questions, he asked the family members to stand up and hold those photos up, before he tore into Muilenburg.
& # 39; As I see those lovers standing … and while I am sitting here today, my anger has only increased & # 39 ;, said the Democratic Connecticut. & # 39; These loved ones have lost their lives in an accident that was not only preventable, as the chairman said at the beginning, but was part of a pattern of deliberate concealment.
Blumenthal reminded the crowd that Boeing had originally blamed the crashes for & # 39; pilot error & # 39 ;.
& # 39; Those pilots have never had a chance & # 39 ;, he said. & # 39; These loved ones have never had a chance. & # 39;
& # 39; They were in flying coffins because Boeing decided it would hide MCAS from the pilots, & # 39; he added.
Researchers have linked MCAS, a flight control system, to both crashes.
Later in the hearing, Muilenburg clarified that his company did not blame the pilots.
& # 39; We have not blamed the pilots, and I know this has been reported, but it is not our business position and it will never be & # 39 ;, said the CEO. & # 39; We are responsible for our aircraft. We are responsible, and we own it, regardless of the cause. & # 39;
For months Boeing had largely not acknowledged the debt and, instead, vowed to make a & # 39; safe plane safer & # 39; to make.
Tuesday's hearing represents Boeing's broadest acceptance that it made mistakes, although Muilenburg's written testimony prior to the hearing did not describe in detail what those mistakes were.
Senator Roger Wicker, the committee chairman, addressed families of the victims of the crash: & # 39; I promise their loved ones that we will find out what went wrong and work to prevent future tragedies. & # 39;
On Monday, Muilenburg visited the Indonesian embassy in Washington to meet the ambassador and pay our respects to those who were lost aboard Lion Air flight 610 on the first anniversary of the accident, Boeing said in a statement.
Muilenburg will also testify on Wednesday for the Transport and Infrastructure Committee of the American House of Representatives.
Michael Stumo, the father of Samya Rose Stumo, who died in flight 302 of Ethiopian Airlines in March, said Monday that the families of the victims are pictures of the & # 39; loved ones that we have lost & # 39; hold up to ensure that the focus is on that, instead of political, bureaucratic or technical issues. & # 39;
He wondered why Boeing is only now adding safety measures to MCAS.
& # 39; When you knew that the MCAS system was part of that Lion Air crash, why didn't you immediately take action instead of withholding information and blaming the pilots? & # 39; Stumo said about Boeing.
US airlines have canceled flights to January and February due to the earthing, and the Federal Aviation Administration is not expected to approve the ungrounding of the 737 MAX until December.
In March, after the Ethiopian Airlines crash, the aircraft was grounded worldwide.
Indonesian researchers reported Friday that Boeing, without adequate supervision from US regulators, did not understand risks when designing cockpit software on the 737 MAX, and sowed the seeds before the October 29, 2018 crash, including Lion Air 610 was involved errors by aircraft personnel and crew.
At the hearing, Blumenthal said he was disappointed by the FAA. He said the FAA had given him overly edited documents and refused to take back his calls.
Muilenburg added that & # 39; supervisors should not approve the return of the MAX to the airspace until they have performed the most rigorous check and are fully satisfied with the safety of the aircraft. The flying audience deserves nothing less. & # 39;
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