by David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Boeing Co (BA.N) Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg faced intense grilling by U.S. lawmakers at a hearing on Tuesday over what the company knew about its MCAS stall-prevention system linked to two deadly crashes, and about delays in turning over internal 2016 messages that described erratic behavior of the software in a simulator.
The hearing, the highest-profile congressional scrutiny of commercial aviation safety in years, heaps pressure on a newly rejiggered Boeing senior management team fighting to repair trust with airline customers and passengers shaken by an eight-month safety ban on its 737 MAX following the crashes, which killed 346 people.
“You have told me half-truths over and over again,” Senator Tammy Duckworth told Muilenburg, questioning why the manufacturer did not disclose more details about MCAS’s lack of safeguards. “You have not told us the whole truth and these families are suffering because of it.”
Duckworth said the pilots did not know enough about MCAS. “You set those pilots up for failure.”