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Boeing Knew About 737 Max Aircraft Problems Months Before Lion Air Crash

Boeing Knew About 737 Max Aircraft Problems Months Before Lion Air Crash

Industry and government officials, cited by The Wall Street Journal, said that Chicago-based Boeing Co. knew that there was a problem with the cockpit safety alert on 737 MAX jets for a year before one of them crashed in Indonesia in October 2018.

A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines, the largest operator of the 737 Max, told The Associated Press that Boeing had informed it of the indicator issue in November, following the Lion Air crash. As a result, the AOA disagree light, which warned pilots of issues with the sensors, functioned only for customers that purchased the optional indicator.

That left airlines that did not buy the optional indicator - including both Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines - without the safety feature. But the disagree alert could have notified pilots that a sensor was malfunctioning.

Boeing's statement notes that in 2017, soon after 737 MAX deliveries started, Boeing engineers detected that the 737 Max display system software was not exactly meeting the AOA Disagree alert requirements.

"Boeing is issuing a display system software update, to implement the AOA Disagree alert as a standard, standalone feature before the MAX returns to service".

A Boeing review "determined that the absence of the AOA Disagree alert did not adversely impact airplane safety or operation", concluding that "the existing functionality was acceptable until the alert and the indicator could be delinked in the next planned display system software update", Boeing said.

The statement later went on to say that the week following the fatal Lion Air crash, Boeing "issued an Operations Manual Bulletin, which was followed a day later by the FAA's issuance of an Airworthiness Directive".

'I love you all,' pens freed Doan in farewell letter to Malaysia
Ms Huong and Indonesian Siti Aisyah had been accused of smearing VX nerve agent on Mr Kim in Kuala Lumpur airport. Another three were allowed to leave the country after North Korea barred Malaysians from leaving North Korea.

In October, a Boeing Max 737 Indonesian airliner crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people on board. Engineers initially believed the alert was standard in all 737 Max aircraft.

Boeing blamed the error on software provided to the company by an outside source, though did not give further details.

Its statement seemed to point blame at an unnamed supplier when it stated that the problem was located in "the software delivered to Boeing".

"However, Boeing's timely or earlier communication with [airlines] would have helped to reduce or eliminate possible confusion", the spokesman said in a emailed statement emailed to Associated Press. Even then, it didn't mention until Sunday that it had known about the warning light issue since mid-2017. Boeing has said that in both fatal crashes, erroneous AOA data was fed to the jet's Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), an anti-stall system which has come under scrutiny since the crashes.

Tajer said that even though his airline had installed the optional feature and so had a functional warning light, American Airlines pilots are still unhappy at what he described as newly discovered "misdirection" by Boeing.

The safety feature that displayed the readings from the two sensors was available for a fee.

The 737 Max has been grounded around the world for nearly eight weeks. Boeing discussed the status of the AOA Disagree alert with the FAA in the wake of the Lion Air accident.


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