January 07, 2020

Chairs DeFazio and Larsen Issue Statements on Boeing’s Announcement Regarding Simulator Training for 737 MAX Pilots

Washington, D.C. —  Today, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Subcommittee on Aviation Chair Rick Larsen (D-WA) released the following statements after Boeing announced it would recommend simulator training for all Boeing 737 MAX pilots as Boeing works toward the goal of returning the airplane to service. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over all aspects of civil aviation, has been investigating the design, development and certification of the aircraft since March 2019, shortly after the second Boeing 737 MAX crash.

“While I agree with Boeing’s decision to recommend that pilots undergo simulator training on the MAX, it’s remarkable that it took two deadly crashes, numerous investigations and untold public pressure before Boeing arrived at this decision,” Chair DeFazio said. “While our Committee continues to comb through records, conduct interviews, and hold public hearings to better understand how the system failed so drastically and ultimately led to the tragic deaths of 346 people, it’s already abundantly clear that from its inception, Boeing’s business model for the 737 MAX was premised on Boeing’s unreasonable, cost-saving assurance to airlines that pilots qualified to fly a different 737 variant, the 737 Next Generation, should not undergo simulator training to fly the 737 MAX. Boeing made a fundamentally flawed decision that put production and profits ahead of the public’s safety. Safety must always come first in the aviation industry. It will be incumbent upon Boeing to ensure that the recommended simulator training is sufficient to provide all flight crews around the globe with both the proficiency and the information they need to fly the 737 MAX safely.”

“The 737 MAX should not return to service until the FAA determines it is safe to do so,” Chair Larsen said. “As Chair of the Aviation Subcommittee, I remain committed to the thorough oversight of the 737 MAX certification process and ensuring the aircraft’s safe return to service. I remain concerned that Boeing initially had financial incentives to avoid simulator training and believe today’s recommendation that all 737 MAX pilots receive simulator training is long overdue. I will continue to keep the 346 victims of the two tragic 737 MAX crashes and their families at the forefront of the Committee’s investigation, as well as the dedicated women and men of Boeing who design, assemble and build the aircraft.”