The New York Times is reporting that Boeing’s CEO spoke to President Trump today and asked him not to ground the 737 MAX.
Early Tuesday, Dennis A. Muilenburg, the chief executive of Boeing, spoke to President Trump on the phone and made the case that the 737 Max planes should not be grounded in the United States, according to two people briefed on the conversation.
Notably this conversation came after Monday’s decision by the FAA not to ground the aircraft based on currently available evidence, and a similar decision by Canadian authorities. The call was also after the President tweeted about the matter.
Meanwhile China’s Civil Aviation Administration Deputy Director offered pilot confidence and experience as a reason why it makes sense to ground the aircraft in Asia even though similar measures aren’t being taken in North America.
The biggest worry involves possibly inaccurate signals from key flight instruments, Mr. Li said on Monday. Many pilots with less experience depend heavily on automatic systems to help them fly planes, and such systems in turn need reliable data.
“We are facing uncertainties about whether pilots have the courage or the capability to fly” if an aircraft has difficulties, Mr. Li said.
“When a pilot is operating manually, if he receives inaccurate signals, which has happened multiple times, it will bring trouble,” Mr. Li said. “As a government supervision department, we should make sure all problem are solved before we allow aircraft to be used.”
The call from Boeing appears awkward, but perhaps unnecessary, and notably pilots unions in the US have yet to call for the aircraft’s grounding.