Monday 11 November 2019

Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg gives up bonus after two fatal plane crashes

Stock photo: Getty
Stock photo: Getty

David Koenig

BOEING'S chief executive will not take a bonus this year after the company's 737 Max planes were involved in two fatal crashes.

David Calhoun, chairman of the American firm, said Dennis Muilenburg put forward the idea following the two accidents which killed 346 people.

Mr Muilenburg received a bonus worth more than €11.6 million million in 2018.

A Boeing 737 Max operated by Lion Air crashed in Indonesia last October killing 189 people and, five months later, an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed causing 157 deaths.

A flight-control system called MCAS pushed the nose of both planes down before the crashes.

Boeing, which kept any explanation of MCAS out of pilot manuals, is now revamping the system to make it easier for pilots to override.

"Dennis didn't create this problem, but from the beginning he knew that MCAS should and could be done better, and he has led a program to rewrite MCAS to alleviate all of those conditions that ultimately beset two unfortunate crews and the families and victims," Mr Calhoun said on CNBC.

Boeing has said recently that it expects the Federal Aviation Administration to approve its changes to the Max before the end of the year.

Those changes include new retraining material for pilots and tying MCAS to a second air-direction sensor at all times so that a single sensor failure will not push the nose down, as happened before both crashes.

Mr Muilenburg has conceded, however, that fixing MCAS has taken far longer than Boeing expected.

US airlines are not planning on using the plane until at least January or February, and it could take longer in other parts of the world, where regulators want to conduct their own reviews of Boeing's work.

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