Boeing employees raised concerns about 737 Max before crashes, documents show

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Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of Boeing, arrives to testify during the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing in Hart Building on aviation safety and the future of the Boeing 737 MAX on Tuesday, October 29, 2019.

Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

A Boeing engineer was concerned that the troubled 737 Max lacked sufficient safety systems, according to a document released Wednesday during a House questioning of the manufacturer’s CEO following two fatal crashes of the jetliners.

In 2015, more than a year before the planes were certified by federal regulators, a Boeing engineer asked whether a flight-control system that was involved in both deadly crashes, was safe because it relied on a single sensor.

The 737 Max crashes — one in Indonesia in October 2018 followed by another in Ethiopia in March — has prompted Boeing to revamp the system to rely on two sensors.

The document, obtained in an investigation of the planes by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, was released during the hearing, the second of two days of testimony by Boeing’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Capitol Hill this week.

“We made some mistakes,” said Muilenburg. “We own that. We’re responsible for our airplanes.”

The jets have been grounded worldwide since the second fatal crash in March. Together, the crashes killed all 346 people on the two flights.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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