Boeing chief personally appealed to Trump as counties grounded jets

Update: President Trump announces grounding of 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 airplanes in U.S.

“With more countries grounding Boeing jets and with lawmakers, aviation workers and consumers calling on the United States to do the same, the head of the aerospace giant on Tuesday made a personal appeal to President Trump,” the New York Times is reporting.

“Boeing’s chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg, called from Chicago and expressed to Mr. Trump his confidence in the safety of the 737 Max 8 jets, according to two people briefed on the conversation. Two of the planes flown by overseas carriers have crashed in recent months in similar accidents.

“The brief call had been in the works since Monday, but it came shortly after Mr. Trump raised concerns that the increasing use of technology in airplanes was compromising passenger safety. ‘Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT.’

“Soon after the conversation ended, Mr. Muilenburg received more bad news. The European Union suspended ‘all flight operations’ of the Boeing 737 Max 8 model, a striking move by one of the industry’s important regulators. At the end of the day, the Federal Aviation Administration said that it was continuing with its review and that the planes could keep flying.

“The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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