Boeing CEO faces questions over plane involved in 2 crashes

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FILE – In this May 8, 2019, file photo, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jetliner being built for Turkish Airlines takes off on a test flight in Renton, Wash. On the anniversary of the first crash of a Boeing 737 Max, the CEO will begin two days of testimony before Congress by telling lawmakers that the aircraft company knows it made mistakes and is throwing everything into fixing the plane. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

It’s been exactly one year since a Boeing 737 Max crashed in Indonesia, and the company’s CEO is likely to face tough questioning about the plane from a Senate committee.

Boeing Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg was set to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday. It is the first congressional testimony by a Boeing official since the first of two Max crashes that together killed 346 people.

FILE – In this April 29, 2019, file pool photo Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg speaks at a news conference after company’s annual shareholders meeting at the Field Museum in Chicago. Muilenburg says that after Boeing finishes upgrading flight-control software on the Max, it will be one of the safest planes ever. Muilenburg is scheduled to testify Tuesday, Oct. 29, before a Senate committee, then again on Wednesday before a House panel. (Joshua Lott/The Washington Post via AP, Pool, File)

Indonesia investigators say Boeing’s design of a key flight-control system contributed to the crash of a Lion Air Max last October. Another Max crashed in Ethiopia in March, and other Max jets were grounded.

“Both of these accidents were entirely preventable,” said Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker, R-Miss.

In his prepared remarks , Muilenburg said the company knows it made mistakes and got some things wrong. He vowed to make the plane safe.

Boeing is fixing flight-control software and hopes to win Federal Aviation Administration approval by year end to return the plane to flight. The FAA is also coming under scrutiny for relying on Boeing employees to perform some certification tests and inspections. It’s an approach FAA has followed for many years.

“We need to know if Boeing and the FAA rushed to certify the Max,” Wicker said.

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