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    Buttigieg says Boeing needs to cooperate with investigation

    By Tara Suter,


    Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg leaned on Boeing on Monday, calling on the aircraft manufacturer to cooperate with government investigations after a string of incidents raised questions about the safety of its planes.

    “Obviously we respect the independence of [the Department of Justice] and [National Transportation Safety Board] doing their own work,” Buttigieg said Monday, according to The Associated Press . “But we are not neutral on the question of whether Boeing should fully cooperate with any entity — NTSB, us, or DOJ. They should, and we expect them to.”

    The Justice Department launched a criminal probe into an incident in January when an Alaska Airlines flight lost its door panel midair, leaving a gaping hole in the side of the Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft. The news, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, came after the company said it could not locate records the National Transportation Safety Board sought in its investigation related to the Boeing factory that manufactured the door panel.

    Buttigieg said Boeing should “go through a serious transformation here in terms of their responsiveness, their culture and their quality issues,” per the AP.

    The company said in an emailed statement to The Hill that they “will continue to cooperate fully and transparently with all government investigations and audits, as we take comprehensive action to improve safety and quality at Boeing.”

    Boeing announced earlier this month that it is in talks to rebuy Spirit AeroSystems, a manufacturer linked to the blowout on the Alaska Airlines flight. Spirit made the fuselage and door plug that blew off during the incident.

    The manufacturer broke away from Boeing in 2005, according to the AP.

    “We have been working closely with Spirit AeroSystems and its leadership to strengthen the quality of the commercial airplanes that we build together,” Boeing said in a statement. “We confirm that our collaboration has resulted in preliminary discussions about making Spirit AeroSystems a part of Boeing again.”

    The Hill has reached out to Alaska Airlines.

    The Associated Press contributed.

    For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.

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