Boeing CEO: 737 MAX jets are safe

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Tuesday said the company plans to continue to “fully cooperate” in the investigation into last month’s fatal Lion Air Crash in Indonesia.

“We have been very engaged with the investigative authorities throughout in providing all of the information necessary to make sure we do a full assessment of the situation,” Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said during an exclusive interview with Maria Bartiromo. “The bottom line here is the 737 MAX is safe and safety is a core value for us… we ensure that airplanes are safe.”

Boeing allegedly failed to warn pilots about the potential dangers associated with a new flight-control feature that is suspected of playing a role in the Lion Air crash which plunged the jet into the Jakarta Sea shortly after takeoff, according to the Wall Street Journal. It was the first fatal crash involving the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft and claimed 189 lives.

The automated stall-prevention system found on Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 models is meant to help pilots avoid raising the plane’s nose too high. However, the system could push it down “unexpectedly and so strongly” that could make it difficult to pull back up, which could lead to a steep dive or crash, according to the Journal.

But according to Muilenburg the company spends “thousands of hours of testing and evaluating and simulating” to give pilots the information they need to operate airplanes safely and reiterated that the equipment operates correctly.

“As the Indonesian authorities have pointed out initally there was some indications of an inaccurate angle attack signal that was being sent to the airplane,” he said. “And of course the airplane has the ability to handle that and we have the procedures in place.”

Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration issued a safety alert last week telling flight crews about the system and how to handle malfunctions, following the crash.

Muilenburg added that they will “take whatever time is necessary” to make sure the ongoing investigation is completed thoroughly.

Boeing shares have gained 21 percent this year.

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