House panel asks Boeing CEO to testify about grounded plane

Associated Press

Washington – A congressional committee investigating the grounded 737 Max has asked Boeing Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg to testify at a hearing next month.

The House Transportation Committee said Tuesday that Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., “formally invited” Muilenburg to a hearing on Oct. 30.

The committee also wants to hear from John Hamilton, the chief engineer of Boeing’s commercial airplanes division.

FILE - In this May 8, 2019, file photo a Boeing 737 MAX 8, being built for American Airlines, makes a turn on the runway as it's readied for takeoff on a test flight in Renton, Wash. American Airlines says it is delaying the expected return date for its Boeing 737 Max jets. The airline said Sunday, Sept. 1, that while it "remains confident" that coming software updates and training will mean recertification of the aircraft this year, it is extending cancellations for Max flights through Dec. 3.

A Boeing spokesman said the company is reviewing the committee’s invitation and will continue to cooperate with Congress and regulatory agencies.

Last week, DeFazio and another lawmaker asked Muilenburg to let committee staffers interview several Boeing employees.

DeFazio’s committee has held three hearings since May focusing on the Max, but no one from Boeing has testified.

The plane has been grounded since shortly after the second of two crashes that together killed 346 people.

Congress, the Justice Department and the Transportation Department’s inspector general are investigating the 737 Max and how it was certified for flight by the Federal Aviation Administration. Lawyers have filed dozens of lawsuits against the company on behalf of passengers’ families.