1. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Joe Manchin, (D) West Virginia
"It seems like every few months that we're learning something new about the problem. First, it was the MCAS system that existed at all. We didn't know about that, it wasn't even included in the pilots manual. Second, we learn that changes were made to the MCAS system late in the design process and made the system more powerful, allowing it to push the nose down much more aggressively. Even so this system relied on a single sensor and had no redundancy. Third, we learned the FAA never performed its own assessments of the system, and in fact that had delegated much of its oversight to the Boeing company."
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Ali Bahrami, FAA Assoc. Administrator for Aviation Safety
"Knowing what we know today and what Acting Administrator Elwell has said, we should have included more description in the computer-based training in order to explain what, what MCAS is, and what what it'll do."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Carl Burleson, FAA Acting Deputy Administrator
"The process of delegation is longstanding and has, again, been a critical part of producing the safety record we have in the United States. I will say it doesn't mean that it's perfect. It doesn't mean that each decision we've made has always been perfect. But I do think the fundamental process of how we went about certifying the (737) Max was sound."
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Susan Collins, (R) Maine, Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman
"What troubles me about this is, if the agency's own analysis found MCAS to be an unacceptable risk, why did the FAA not take immediate action to address those risks?"
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Ali Bahrami, FAA Assoc. Administrator for Aviation Safety
"We knew that eventual solution would be to have the modification. And based on our risk assessment we felt that this we had sufficient time to be able to do the modification and get the final fix."
6. SOUNDBITE: (English) Sen. Joe Manchin (D) West Virginia
"I'm not getting on the 737 Max until I see the president of Boeing and all his and hers associates be on that plane first and fly for any substantial time."
Members of a Senate subcommittee clashed with Federal Aviation Administration officials Wednesday, contending the agency was too deferential to Boeing in approving the 737 Max airliner.
Senators cited newspaper reports of lax oversight as the jet and flight control software called MCAS were developed. The software, which points the plane's nose down to avoid an aerodynamic stall, has been implicated in two deadly crashes.
"This was a complex plane," said Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, a pilot himself.
"You hung new engines all you did a lot of different things with a software system that wasn't even mentioned in the pilots manual," he said.
"Yet the FAA agreed that pilots only needed an hour of iPad training to get up to speed," he said.
Lawmakers asked officials about a report in The Wall Street Journal that the FAA let Boeing do an interim fix after an Indonesian Lion Air Max crashed in October, even though an analysis showed a risk of a similar cockpit emergency happening again.
The agency instead notified pilots about how to turn off MCAS and waited for a safer, more permanent fix of the software from Boeing.
The Lion Air crash was followed in March by the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Max, with a total of 346 people dying in both.
"What troubles me about this is if the agency's own analysis has found MCAS to be an unacceptable risk, why did the FAA not take immediate action to address those risks?" asked Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the chairwoman of the subcommittee.
FAA Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety Ali Bahrami told lawmakers that interim fix after the Lion Air crash was reviewed by FAA engineers and in line with normal practices. In the Indonesia crash, actions of the pilots played a significant role, Bahrami said, making it most urgent to tell pilots about the proper procedures to disable MCAS.
"I'm not getting on the 737 MAX until I see the president of Boeing and all his and hers associates be on that plane first and fly for any substantial time," Manchin said.