Boeing Takes Responsibility for Lion Air, Ethiopian 737 MAX Crashes
Boeing formally accepted responsibility Thursday for the crashes of two 737 MAX aircraft that led to a worldwide grounding of the airplanes.
CEO Dennis Muilenburg posted a video statement on Twitter with a written summary, saying, "We at Boeing are sorry for the lives lost in the recent 737 accidents, and are relentlessly focused on safety to ensure tragedies like this never happen again."
The full statement referenced the preliminary report on the Ethiopian Air crash, and acknowledged the role in both accidents played by the MAX's faulty Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, known as MCAS, which played a role in both crashes according to preliminary findings.
"The history of our industry shows most accidents are caused by a chain of events," Muilenberg said. "This again is the case here, and we know we can break one of those chain links in these two accidents. As pilots have told us, erroneous activation of the MCAS function can add to what is already a high workload environment. It's our responsibility to eliminate this risk. We own it and we know how to do it."
Muilenburg stated that the changes Boeing is introducing to the MCAS system, will "...prevent an MCAS-related accident from ever happening again." When the "MAX returns to the skies with the software changes to the MCAS function, it will be among the safest airplanes ever to fly," Muilenburg said.
The National Transportation Safety Board also tweeted a brief announcement Thursday, stating that the preliminary report on the Ethiopian Air crash has been released.
Earlier Thursday, Ethiopian Airlines' CEO Tewolde Gebremariam had issued a statement based on that preliminary report and rejecting the idea that his airline's training or procedures had anything to do with the crash.
The entire fleet of more than 370 Boeing 737 MAX worldwide remains grounded until Boeing rolls out a software fix and the planes are deemed safe to fly by aviation authorities.