Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg extended an apology to the families of the victims during testimony to the Senate Commerce Committee last week. The company has been in harsh waters ever since the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia took place.
Muilenburg told the committee, ‘we know we made some mistakes and got some things wrong.’ He was referring to how the company handled the design and production of the 737 Max 8 jet. The two crashes claimed the lives of 346 people.
Muilenburg was reading from a prepared statement in the hearing. During this hearing, he recognized that the crashes that took place were a result of a faulty sensor in the MCAS system of planes. As per reports, these sensors gave incorrect readings to the control system of the planes, thus causing them to start a nosedive. Pilots would then have to struggle in order to lift the plane upward, and in case of these two deadly crashes, it is this particular act that they failed at.
This hearing was just not about an apology coming from the Boeing leader. Rather, it was a forum where Senators from all over the country took out the time to push Muilenburg on Boeing’s lobbying efforts for weakening the Federal Aviation Administration’s regulatory authority. It has recently been discovered that the company’s former Chief Technical Pilot talked about ‘Jedi mind tricking’ the regulators.
It was also noted that the company had recommended the removal of all references to the MCAS systems from the pilot manual before the release of the new plane. Muilenburg, while giving his seemingly heartfelt apology, offered his ‘deepest sympathies’ to the victims’ families and airlines. However, Muilenburg did dodge the questions about whether Boeing had failed in terms of properly disclosing the issues with MCAS to pilots and airlines before the plane was launched.
As per FAA, the agency still has to determine how or when the Boeing planes will be allowed to enter into service again.