Lawyers representing families of victims of two Boeing 737 Max 8 plane crashes have spoken out after the company fired its CEO, Dennis Muilenburg.
Manuel von Ribbeck of Ribbeck Law Chartered, who represents the majority of the families of two Boeing Max 8 plane crashes, said he was optimistic that the changes would ensure the safety of passengers.
“Boeing is making changes and hopefully these modifications in their operations and aircraft design will focus on the safety of its planes,” said Mr Ribbeck.
New boss takes over
Ribbeck Law Chartered represents 80 passengers and cabin crew members, victims of the Lion Air plane crash in Indonesia and Ethiopian Airlines.
On Monday, the Boeing board announced changes to its management, appointing David Calhoun, who had served as chairman since October, as CEO as from January 13, 2020.
Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith will serve as interim CEO during a brief transition period while Director Larry Kellner will replace Calhoun as chairman.
“A change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence in the company moving forward as it works to repair relationships with regulators, customers, and all other stakeholders,” Boeing’s board said in the statement.
Another lawyer from Ribbeck Law Chartered, Monica Kelly, stated that “our clients, the majority of the families of both plane crashes do not wish more accidents and appreciate changes that will prevent these tragedies.”
Calhoun will now exit his non-Boeing commitments, to focus on cleaning the image of Boeing 737 Max 8 which has been grounded for close to nine months now.
“I strongly believe in the future of Boeing and the 737 Max. I am honored to lead this great company and the 150,000 dedicated employees who are working hard to create the future of aviation,” said Calhoun in a statement.
Anti-stall software blamed
A total of 157 passengers and crew aboard Ethiopia Airlines flight ET 302 died after the plane, a Boeing 737 Max 8, crashed minutes after takeoff in March.
Five months earlier, another Boeing 737 Max 8 plane operated by Lion Air of Indonesia crashed killing all 189 passengers and crew aboard.
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The two crashes were blamed on the planes’ anti-stall software, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).
MCAS is “activated without pilot input” and “commands nose down stabilizer to enhance pitch characteristics during step turns with elevated load factors and during flaps up flight at airspeeds approaching stall.
The MCAS in the plane is said to have triggered an irredeemable nosedive that caused the crashes.