Boeing Hushed Info About Safety Alert Problems With 737 MAX for YEAR
08 May, 2019, 11:41 | Author: Trevor Moore
Following the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the October 2018 crash of a Lion Air-operated 737 MAX 8 into the Java Sea that killed in total 346 people, a number of countries, including the US, China, India, Egypt, Vietnam, and European Union blocked the Boeing 737 MAX 8 from their airspace while investigations regarding the crashes are carried out. The indicator, called an angle of attack disagree alert, is created to warn pilots if the plane's sensors are transmitting contradictory data about the direction of the plane's nose. As a result, the AOA disagree light, which warned pilots of issues with the sensors, functioned only for customers that purchased the optional indicator. The faulty sensors activate an anti-stall software that sent both planes into a nose-dive.
When the jet returns to service, all new aircraft will have a working AOA Disagree alert as a standard feature and a no-charge optional indicator showing the underlying data, Boeing said.
Immediately following the company's reiteration that it did not merit action in 2017, Boeing confirmed that it was brought up again in 2018 and a Safety Review Board (SRB) was convened to "consider again whether the absence of the [safety] alert from certain 737 Max flight displays presented a safety issue". Accordingly, the review concluded, the existing functionality was acceptable until the alert and the indicator could be delinked in the next planned display system software update.
Following the Lion Air disaster, the Seattle-based company told the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that it had identified the problem a year previously, but insisted that its own review was correct, and that the light did not have any impact on the safe operation of the airplane.
Relatives of the victims lay flowers during a visit by family members at the crash site of the Ethiopian Airlines operated Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, at Hama Quntushele village in the Oromia region, on March 13, 2019.
"Boeing's timely or earlier communication with the operators would have helped to reduce or eliminate possible confusion", the FAA said. Boeing said the faulty software was delivered by a vendor, which it didn't name. "Until after Lion Air, our manuals said that worked", Weaks said.
Erroneous data from a sensor responsible for measuring the AOA or the angle at which the wing slices through the air is suspected of triggering a flawed piece of software that pushed the plane downward in two recent crashes.
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