Boeing Messages to FAA on MAX Show 'Very Disturbing Picture'

Internal documents show a 'very disturbing picture' of the Chicago aerospace giant’s efforts regarding the safety of its 737 MAX jet, says a spokeswoman for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
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Internal Boeing (BA) - Get Report documents show a “very disturbing picture” of the Chicago aerospace giant’s efforts regarding the safety of its 737 MAX jet, said a spokeswoman for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Boeing earlier this week turned over the documents to the House panel, which is looking into two crashes involving the jet, and to the Federal Aviation Administration. That’s the same day on which the company said it dismissed CEO Dennis Muilenburg.

Aviation authorities worldwide grounded the plane in mid-March after two crashes of the jet - a Lion Air flight in October 2018 and an Ethiopian Airlines flight in March 2019 - killed 346 people.

Media reports quoted a committee spokeswoman as saying by email that the panel’s staffers “are continuing to review these records, but similar to other records previously disclosed by Boeing, the records appear to point to a very disturbing picture of both concerns expressed by Boeing employees about the company’s commitment to safety and efforts by some employees to ensure Boeing’s production plans were not diverted by regulators or others.”

The contents of the documents weren’t disclosed. Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with the contents, that at least some of the documents were prepared by a Boeing pilot who in October had expressed concern about software that may have been involved in the two 737 MAX crashes.

Boeing said in a statement it “proactively brought these communications to the FAA and Congress as part of our commitment to transparency with our regulators and the oversight committees.

“As with prior documents referenced by the committee, the tone and content of some of these communications does not reflect the company we are and need to be.

“We have made significant changes as a company in the past nine months to enhance our safety processes, organizations, and culture," the company added.

Boeing on Monday named Dave Calhoun, who for 10 years has sat on Boeing’s board, as its new CEO, effective in mid-January.

At last check Boeing shares were off 0.4% at $331.61.