Boeing chief Dennis Muilenburg denied Wednesday that the two recent crashes of the 737 MAX were due to any “technical slip” by Boeing during the jet’s design or certification.
Muilenburg conceded that erroneous information was fed to the airplanes on both flights by a faulty sensor on the fuselage, and that this false signal activated a new flight control system on the MAX that repeatedly pushed the jet’s nose down.
Still, he adamantly denied that any fault in the design led to the deaths of the 346 people aboard the two planes.
“There is no technical slip or gap here,” Muilenburg said on an early morning conference call with Wall Street analysts following release of its first-quarter earnings. “We understand our airplane. We understand how the design was accomplished, how the certification was accomplished, and remain fully confident in the product.”
He added that “actions not taken” contributed to the crash, a seeming reference to Boeing’s contention that the crews on each flight should have been able to stop the system pushing the nose down using a standard procedure.
A Seattle Times story last month pointed to serious flaws in the design of the new flight-control system on the MAX — known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS — and in the way the system was certified. And even some Boeing engineers who worked on the MAX questioned elements of the design, especially its reliance on a single sensor.
Yet Muilenburg’s remarks make clear that though he has publicly declared Boeing responsible for the safety of the MAX — “We own it,” he has said repeatedly — the company does not accept blame for the accidents. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Seattle Times website.