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Boeing Execs Respond To Leaked Messages As Congress Watches Closely

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Boeing Execs Respond To Leaked Messages As Congress Watches Closely

Airplane manufacturer Boeing Co (NYSE: BA) acknowledged in a statement over the weekend that it will investigate a leaked message from a test pilot who highlighted concerns related to software in its 737 MAX that was involved in two fatal crashes, Reuters reported Monday. 

What Happened

The anti-stall system in the now-grounded 737 MAX planes was "running rampant" during flight simulation tests, Boeing's former chief technical pilot Mark Forkner said in recently uncovered internal messages.

Boeing said in a Sunday statement that it understands the "scrutiny this matter is receiving" and will continue working with investigators and an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Congress.

Boeing said it has not spoken with Forkner directly, but said the simulator software at that time was "still undergoing testing and qualification and had not been finalized," according to Reuters.

"We are continuing to investigate the circumstances of this exchange, and are committed to identifying all the available facts relating to it, and to share those facts with the appropriate investigating and regulatory authorities."

'Undue Pressure' From Workers

According to an internal Boeing survey obtained and reviewed by CNBC, one-third of employees felt "potential undue pressure," including for safety approvals.

While the survey wasn't conducted specifically for workers on the 737 MAX, it found that commercial aircraft workers faced high workloads and schedule pressure.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the survey results could be problematic, as some of the employees who expressed concern were also tasked with certifying the plane's technology as safe.

"That's not exactly major accountability, and it probably goes deeper into the organization," Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon told WSJ.

Airline Expert: Boeing Can 'Move Forward'

The latest revelations from Boeing do not raise new issues related to the safety of the aircraft, but could add increased pressure from global regulators to "show more scrutiny than they already would have shown," Airline Weekly managing partner Seth Kaplan said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Monday morning.

Boeing now faces a new leadership question, and it is unclear at what point senior executives are "more part of the problem than the solution," he said.

Nevertheless, all the questions raised in recent days will become resolved in the near-term at a high cost, and Boeing can ultimately "move forward," in Kaplan's view. 

Boeing stock was down 4.17% at $329.65 at the time of publication. 

Related Links:

Boeing And Lockheed Martin To Report Q3 Earnings, With 737 MAX Still Key

FAA Concerned About Boeing Text Messages That May Indicate Company Misled Agency On 737 Max

Latest Ratings for BA

DateFirmActionFromTo
Nov 2019MaintainsEqual-Weight
Oct 2019MaintainsNeutral
Oct 2019MaintainsBuy

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