Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Congressman Cohen Questions FAA Officials about Boeing 737 MAX Fatal Crashes

May 15, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation, questioned Federal Aviation Administration Acting Administrator Daniel K. Elwell about two fatal crashes of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in October 2018 and in March of this year. See the exchange here.

During his exchange with Administrator Elwell, Congressman Cohen asked: “I believe every country grounded the MAX before we did. Every country. How were we last?”

When Elwell answered that the U.S. and Canada based their grounding decisions on data and evidence, Congressman Cohen said, “It just seems like common sense should have taken control. Data’s fine but sometimes it’s right before your eyes.”

A Boeing 737 MAX operated by Lion Air crashed on October 29 after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia, killing all 189 on board. On March 10, an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crashed after taking off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, killing all 157 on board. The FAA grounded all 737 MAX aircraft three days after the second crash.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Inspector General is currently conducting an audit of the certification for the Boeing 737 MAX with the cooperation of the FAA.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert L. Sumwalt and Earl Lawrence, executive director of the FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service, also testified at the hearing.