US House Committee invites Boeing CEO to testify on the 737 MAX

As Boeing prepares for the un-grounding of the 737 MAX, numerous legal proceedings and settlements will follow the logistical challenges for the manufacturer. In the latest turn of events, the Chairman of the United States’ House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Peter DeFazio, has “formally invited” the chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Boeing, Dennis Muilenburg, to testify before the committee. The hearing is scheduled for October 30, 2019,  a year and a day later after the first Boeing 737 MAX plunged into the sea in Indonesia.

Chief Engineer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, John Hamilton will also appear at the hearing in Washington, DC (United States). In addition, both chairmen of the committee, DeFazio and Rick Larsen, have issued a formal request to Muilenburg “to make several Boeing employees available for interviews” with representatives of the committee. DeFazio and Larsen sent out the latter formal request last week.

The latest batch of hearings and interviews follow the previous three meetings at the House Committee, where the committee and various representatives of the industry exchanged statements and testimonies. The first one, which happened on May 15, 2019, included a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) acting administrator, Daniel K. Elwell, where he stated that FAA is committed “to safety and fact-based, data-driven decision making”, adding that this “has been the guiding principle” in the response to the 737 MAX crisis.

At a separate meeting on June 19, 2019, Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger weighed in on the situation, where he blasted the FAA and Boeing, as the two accidents “are demonstrable evidence that our current system of aircraft design and certification has failed us”. On July 17, 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 victims’ families appeared in front of the committee, where the manufacturer of the once hailed “MAXimum efficiency” redefining aircraft was further criticized not only for its engineering mistakes but the way it handled the crisis with the affected families.


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