Boeing Head To Testify Before Senate Panel in ‘Moment of Reckoning’ for Aerospace Giant

The embattled airplane manufacturer is trying to regain its public image since fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019 killed nearly 350 people.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
Boeing's CEO, Dave Calhoun, speaks to reporters as he departs from a meeting at the office of Senator Warner on Capitol Hill January 24, 2024. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Boeing’s departing chief executive, Dave Calhoun, is set to testify in front of a Senate panel next week amid safety concerns and a public reputation crisis rocking the aerospace giant. 

The hearing will be on June 18 before the Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations, in what the chairman of the panel says will be “a necessary step in meaningfully addressing Boeing’s failures, regaining public trust, and restoring the company’s central role in the American economy and national defense.” 

“Five years ago, Boeing made a promise to overhaul its safety practices and culture. That promise proved empty, and the American people deserve an explanation,” the subcommittee’s chairman, Senator Blumenthal, a Democrat of Connecticut, said in a statement. 

Malfunctions involving the Boeing 737-800 model have been responsible for more than 500 accidents and thousands of deaths and injuries between its 1967 release and 2023, as the Sun has reported, and two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019 killed nearly 350 passengers. In January of this year, Boeing, still working to restore public trust, was thrust back into the spotlight after a plane’s panel blew off in midair, forcing an emergency landing on a flight operated by Alaska Airlines. 

“Years of putting profits ahead of safety, stock price ahead of quality, and production speed ahead of responsibility has brought Boeing to this moment of reckoning, and its hollow promises can no longer stand,” Mr. Blumenthal said.

Since March, two Boeing whistleblowers have died suddenly. One, a longtime Boeing employee, John Barnett, was in the middle of a lawsuit against the company when he was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot at a Charleston, South Carolina, hotel.

Less than two months later, another whistleblower, 45-year-old Josh Dean, was reported to have died from a sudden illness despite leading a healthy lifestyle. 

As Boeing has come under intense public scrutiny, its top executive, Mr. Calhoun, is set to step down from his position at the end of the year. 

The Senate’s permanent subcommittee on investigations said it has been inquiring into Boeing since receiving whistleblower disclosures in March of this year, and in April it held a hearing to gather testimony from current and previous Boeing employees on “manufacturing deficiencies and a culture of retaliation at the company.” 

The Sun has reached out to Boeing for comment.

The New York Sun

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