Boeing CEO testifies, lawmakers call Max 737 jets ‘flying coffins’

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Boeing’s CEO testified on Capitol Hill for the first time since the two deadly Max jet crashes that killed 346 people.

Dennis Muilenburg apologized to the families of the victims who died in the two 737 Max jet crashes.

“We are sorry, deeply and truly sorry,” the Boeing CEO said.

The apology did little to pacify lawmakers like Sen. Richard Blumethal (D-CT).

“As I sit here today my anger has only grown,” said Blumenthal. “Those pilots never had a chance, these family members never had a chance — they were in flying coffins.”

Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) pressed Muilenburg about his knowledge of efforts to hide safety concerns.

“When did you become aware of the emails … about ‘Jedi mind-tricking regulators?'” Wicker asked.

“Senator, again just recently,” Muilenburg responded.

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) said being the leader in aviation manufacturing requires responsibility.

“We cannot have a race for commercial airplanes become a race to the bottom when it comes to safety,” Cantwell said.

Muilenburg admitted that Boeing made mistakes but tried to convince skeptical lawmakers that problems with jets’ flight control systems have been fixed.

“We’ve brought the best of Boeing to this effort. We’ve spent over 100,000 engineering and test hours, we’ve flown more than 800 test flights,” Muilenburg said.

Lawmakers said the congressional inquiry will continue and expressed frustration at the lack of cooperation from the Federal Aviation Administration.