“The Senate Commerce Committee should schedule a hearing to evaluate incidents involving the 737 MAX, Boeing’s engineering and safety standards, and the quality of oversight provided by the FAA and other relevant government agencies.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator JD Vance (R-OH) issued the following statement regarding a recent rapid depressurization incident aboard a Boeing 737 MAX. Senator Vance is calling for a Senate Commerce Committee hearing to evaluate the safety of 737 MAX aircraft.
“The FAA has assured me the 737 MAX is safe – last week’s near catastrophe calls that determination into question,” said Senator Vance. “Pilots have filed safety complaints on these aircraft, many of which had just rolled off the production line, at a rate which is unbecoming of American aviation. My own family has flown on 737 MAX aircraft multiple times in the past year. Every American deserves a full explanation from Boeing and the FAA on what’s gone wrong and on the steps that are being taken to ensure another incident does not occur in the future.
“The Senate Commerce Committee should schedule a hearing to evaluate incidents involving the 737 MAX, Boeing’s engineering and safety standards, and the quality of oversight provided by the FAA and other relevant government agencies. I hope such a hearing will occur as soon as possible.”
In March of last year, Senator Vance questioned the FAA’s then-Acting Administrator Billy Nolen on the safety of 737 MAX aircraft, citing recent incidents involving the aircraft. In one January 2023 incident involving a 737 MAX operated by American Airlines, pilots declared “PAN-PAN-PAN” shortly after takeoff, reported stabilizer trim control failure, and decided to return to the airport rather than continuing the flight. In a February 2023 incident involving a “brand new” 737 MAX operated by Southwest Airlines, pilots declared an emergency shortly after takeoff following the failure of autopilot and trim systems. These pilots also decided to return to the airport rather than continuing the flight.
Considering these incidents, Senator Vance asked Acting Administrator Nolan: “Is the 737 MAX actually safe? Have we done the necessary work here? Does your agency, do you feel confident that we’re actually in a position here where we can say the 737 MAX is doing what it needs to do, in light of the fact that we have some pretty recent safety complaints here?”
In response, Acting Administrator Nolen said: “Yes sir, I can, I can say categorically that the 737 MAX airplane is safe.”
Watch the exchange here: