Press Releases

Larsen Expectations Ahead of Initial Hearing on Boeing 737 MAX Investigation

Washington, DC, May 14, 2019

House Aviation Subcommittee Chair Rick Larsen (WA-02) released the below statement ahead of the Aviation Subcommittee hearing entitled “Status of the Boeing 737 MAX.”

“346 people died in the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the Lion Air Flight 610 crash en route to Jakarta, Indonesia. Congress has an obligation to the traveling public and the victims of these accidents and their families to ensure the safety of air travel. This Committee will continue to maintain safety as its guiding principle and will use tools at its disposal to reduce the likelihood of tragedies like these from happening again.

“The Committee will have a lot of tough questions as it works through these investigations. During tomorrow’s hearing, the Committee will hear from FAA and NTSB. I expect the agencies to answer some important initial questions, including:

  • What was the FAA’s decision-making regarding the certification of the 737 MAX?
  • What was the FAA’s role in the Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) process, as well as the agency’s role in determining the risk assessments assigned to key safety equipment on the aircraft, most notably, the Angle of Attack (AOA) sensors and Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS)?
  • What was the FAA’s role in the development of associated pilot training for the 737 MAX, including opportunities for input from pilots and engagement with Boeing on the related flight manuals?
  • How is the NTSB collaborating with the foreign investigation authorities and what are the agency’s insights on the preliminary reports for the JT610 and ET302 accidents?

“The Committee’s investigation is just getting started, and it will take some time to get answers, but one thing is clear right now: The FAA has a credibility problem. The FAA needs to fix its credibility problem. The Committee will work with the FAA as it rebuilds public and international confidence in its decisions, but our job is oversight and the Committee will continue to take this role seriously.”