As Boeing Makes Fixes, Harsh Words From Capitol Hill

FAA 'put fox in charge of henhouse,' senator says
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2019 7:10 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's not admitting faulty systems in its 737 MAX planes were the cause, but Boeing has still gone ahead with updates to the aircraft after two crashes in recent months that killed hundreds. The BBC reports the aerospace company has reconfigured anti-stalling software that investigators suspect may have jammed and led to the crashes, as well as made standard a once-optional safety feature that alerts pilots if two sensors in the plane are transmitting contradictory info. The update will take about 60 minutes to incorporate on each plane, and pilots will need to retrain on the upgraded system before they're permitted to bring the plane back up in the air, Boeing executive Mike Sinnett said at a Wednesday press briefing, per CNN.

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"We're working with customers and regulators around the world to restore faith in our industry and also to reaffirm our commitment to safety and to earning the trust of the flying public," he noted. On Capitol Hill Wednesday, two congressional hearings called for more oversight amid criticism that regulators had left much of the system's analysis up to Boeing itself. The Federal Aviation Administration "put the fox in charge of the henhouse," Sen. Richard Blumenthal said, per the New York Times. Meanwhile, in an open letter cited by Stuff, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the company has been "humbled" and is "learning" from the entire experience. (A 737 MAX plane had to make an emergency landing in Florida this week.)

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