May 29, 2019

Boeing CEO apologizes to victims' families for deadly 737 MAX crashes

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg. Photo: Jim Young-Pool/Getty Images

In an exclusive interview with CBS Evening News, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg apologized to the families of the 346 people who died when two of the company's 737 MAX 8 jets crashed in separate incidents within a 5-month period.

“We feel terrible about these accidents, and we apologize for what happened. We are sorry for the loss of lives in both accidents. We are sorry for the impact to the families and the loved ones that are behind, and that will never change, that will always be with us. I can tell you it affects me directly as a leader of this company. It’s very difficult.”

Why it matters: This is the first time Muilenburg made an unqualified apology to crash victims, and it represents a turning point in company strategy in getting its best-selling aircraft back in the air again.

Context: Both crashes have been tied to an aircraft control system known as MCAS, which was designed to prevent the aircraft from stalling, or losing lift, in certain flight configurations. The repeated intervention of MCAS when a stall was not imminent is thought to have contributed to both crashes and resulted in the grounding of all 737 MAX jets.

  • The crashes, which were unprecedented for a modern airliner introduction into worldwide service, prompted the FAA, Justice Department, SEC and congressional committees to launch investigations into the aircraft's design, certification and operation.

What's next: Boeing is preparing to submit a software fix that they hope will lead to re-certification of the aircraft by the FAA and international aviation regulators.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about the Boeing 737 MAX crashes

Go deeper

Updated 9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 6,889,889 — Total deaths: 399,642 — Total recoveries — 3,085,326Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 1,920,061 — Total deaths: 109,802 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.

George Floyd updates

Protesters in Washington, D.C. on June 6. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of demonstrators are rallying in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds have assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct. A memorial service was held for Floyd in Raeford, North Carolina, near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor him until sunset.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

In photos: People around the world rally against racism

Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people have continued to rally in cities across the world against racism and show their support this week for U.S. demonstrators protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.