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Boeing's 2nd Biggest Client Mulls Switching to Airbus Amid 737 MAX Controversy

Boeing's 2nd Biggest Client Mulls Switching to Airbus Amid 737 MAX Controversy

Boeing management faces a potential rebuke by shareholders on Monday when investors gather at an annual meeting six weeks after a top-selling plane was grounded globally following two deadly crashes. "Unless an airline opted for the angle of attack indicator, the disagree alert was not operable", the company said.

It also emerged that Boeing did not activate a "disagree alert" feature on the 737 Max 8 that warned pilots if the sensor was transmitting faulty data about position of the plane's nose.

Upon delivery (prior to the Lion Air event), the AOA Disagree lights were depicted to us by Boeing as operable on all MAX aircraft, regardless of the selection of optional AOA Indicators on the Primary Flight Display (PFD). Earlier this month, the FAA released a draft report stating that a planned Boeing software update for the jets is "operationally suitable", but the groundings are expected to continue until at least late May or early June.

"I'm confident with that change it will be one of the safest airplanes ever to fly".

Whistleblowers have reportedly separately claimed that FAA inspectors who approved the 737 Max line were not properly trained and did not possess the required certifications.

The defeat of those motions no doubt was relief for Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg and other company brass but there was little sense of triumph at an annual meeting that included a moment of silence for the lives lost. "There are factors that we can control in the design and in this case that common link related to the MCAS system and its activation", Muilenburg said.

Boeing has held its first annual shareholders' meeting since two of its 737 Max aircraft crashed within five months, killing almost 350 people in total.

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Boeing had deactivated the signal on all 737 MAX delivered to Southwest without telling the carrier.

Disgruntled shareholders expressed concern over a 10 per cent drop in value of Boeing's share price following the grounding of the MAX after the March 10 crash of Ethiopian Airlines that killed all 157 passengers and crew on board. After the Lion Air event, Boeing notified us that the AOA Disagree Lights were inoperable without the optional AOA Indicators on the MAX aircraft. "We're going to break that link and this will prevent accidents like this from happening again". "As we have previously stated, we will not introduce any new aircraft to the fleet unless we are completely satisfied with safety".

The Federal Aviation Administration considered recommending grounding the planes as they explored whether pilots flying the aircraft needed additional training about the alerts, said a source familiar with the matter. "This change will be made to all MAX aircraft - production and retrofit".

At the shareholders meeting, Muilenburg faced some pointed questions from shareholders but defended the design of the 737 MAX as "thorough" and "disciplined".

Required simulator training could delay the MAX's return to service because it takes time to schedule hundreds or thousands of pilots on simulators.

"All 737 MAX pilots will take mandated training which familiarizes them with the MCAS function and associated airplane operational procedures", it said.

"When we train on the airplane, you're being trained on MCAS", he said.


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