N.T.S.B. Says Boeing Has Not Provided Key Information in 737 Max Inquiry

Boeing has not provided crucial information sought by the National Transportation Safety Board as it investigates what caused a door panel to come off a 737 Max 9 plane during an Alaska Airlines flight in January, the safety board’s chairwoman told a Senate panel on Wednesday.

The official, Jennifer Homendy, told the Senate Commerce Committee that her agency had requested any documentation that exists regarding the opening and closing of the panel, known as a door plug, at Boeing’s factory in Renton, Wash. Ms. Homendy said the safety board had also requested the names of certain workers at the factory.

Boeing has a team of 25 employees and a manager who handle doors at the Renton plant, Ms. Homendy told the Senate committee. The manager has been on medical leave and the agency had been unable to interview that person, Ms. Homendy said. She added that Boeing had not provided the safety board with the names of the other 25 employees.

“It’s absurd that two months later, we don’t have that,” she said.

In a statement after the hearing, Boeing said it had previously provided the safety board with “names of Boeing employees, including door specialists, who we believed would have relevant information.” The company added, “We have now provided the full list of individuals on the 737 door team, in response to a recent request.”

Boeing’s statement also suggested that the company might not have any records to hand over regarding the opening of the door plug. “If the door plug removal was undocumented, there would be no documentation to share,” the statement said.

At the hearing, lawmakers quickly expressed concern in response to Ms. Homendy’s testimony. Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington and the chairwoman of the Commerce Committee, called it “beyond disappointing” that Boeing had not provided the names of the employees.

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