LONDON — Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg is due to testify today (October 29) before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation regarding aviation safety as well as predominantly the 737 MAX.
It is understood that he will sit alongside the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President & Chief Engineer John Hamilton.
The pair are also due to appear before the U.S House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on October 30 to discuss the design and development of the aircraft.
Muilenburg today gave a prepared statement expressing sympathies to those who were lost in Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.
“As we observe today the solemn anniversary of the loss of Lion Air Flight 610, we carry the memory of these accidents, and the lives lost, with us every day.”
“They will never be forgotten, and those memories drive us every day to make our aeroplanes and our industry safer,”
“We have brought the very best of Boeing to this effort. We’ve dedicated all resources necessary to ensure that the improvements to the 737 MAX are comprehensive and thoroughly tested.
“When the 737 MAX returns to service, it will be one of the safest airplanes ever to fly.”
The manufacturer will also present updates to the House and Senate regarding the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), in which it has added more layers of protection.
This includes MCAS comparing information from both angles of attack sensors before activating and will only respond if data from both sensors agree.
It will only activate a single time and it will never provide more input than the pilot can counteract using the control column alone.
Other data that will be presented will be the 100,000 engineering and test hours on the development of these improvements across 814 test flights.
“We have learned and are still learning from these accidents. We know we made mistakes and got some things wrong,” continued Muilenburg.
What can we expect from these hearings?
The U.S Senate & House committees will begin to put pressure on Muilenburg and Hamilton through many hours of questioning regarding the design of the 737MAX.
The pair will no doubt be subjected to some severe criticisms about the decisions taken in the company, especially with Muilenburg promising to be transparent.
He wrote: “I want to answer all of your questions and convey to the world that we are doing everything in our power to make our airplanes and our industry safer and prevent an accident like this from ever happening again.”
He solidified this claim even more with his concluding remarks.
“And, Mr. Chairman, you have my personal commitment that I will do everything I can to make sure we live up to that promise.”
Ultimately, we will no doubt get some answers that we may not have discovered from the crash reports and other exposures placed in the media thanks to Muilenburg’s commitment.
It will certainly be intriguing to see what these developments are and how Muilenburg and Hamilton get around what will be a hard couple of days without potentially lying or misleading under oath to cover their own losses. For something like this, transparency is key.