Boeing Failed to Disclose Issues With New Flight Control Feature

Governance       Boeing didn’t warn of 737 feature tied to deadly crash US pilots say
       
       	        Alan Levin and Mary Schlangenstein         13 November 2018

Governance Boeing didn’t warn of 737 feature tied to deadly crash US pilots say Alan Levin and Mary Schlangenstein 13 November 2018

The Lion Air flight JT 610 had taken off from Jakarta on 29 October and was expected to arrive at its destination at Depati Amir airport in Pangkal Pinang an hour later but it crashed into the sea.

Safety experts involved in the investigation said USA aviation officials and airline pilots hadn't been told the new system had been added to the 737 MAX aircraft.

Boeing said it is confident in the safety of the 737 Max family of jets.

Boeing said Monday that it's working closely with investigators and taking every measure "to fully understand all aspects of this incident".

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reviewing Boeing's previous safety analyses and the information it distributed to the agency as part of an investigation into the Lion Air crash that killed all 189 people on board.

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Intan Syari lost her fiancé in the devastating Lion Air crash that happened last month, but that didn't stop her from going ahead with their planned wedding alone, The Straits Times reported. Another one is captain pilot Bhavye Suneja from India.

American Airlines Group Inc said on Wednesday it was "unaware" of some functions of an anti-stall system on Boeing Co's 737 MAX until last week. She said: "'We were supposed to do this together, there's supposed to be Rio here.' And she cried - all of us cried too". "Safety remains our top priority and is a core value for everyone at Boeing", the company said.

The Journal also reported on Tuesday that when Boeing made a decision to install the flight-control feature, the company determined that it was fail-proof because it was impossible for the combination of sensor failure, pilot actions, and automated nose-down commands to cause any serious safety hazards. Pilots speaking with the outlet claim they weren't properly trained on the safety feature, which automatically adjusts an aircraft's nose downward in the event of disturbance.

On the Pilots of America online forum, an American Airlines pilot posted an informational bulletin from a pilot's association and added this: "We had NO idea that this MCAS even existed".

Known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, it was added "to compensate for some unique aircraft handling characteristics", according to a bulletin sent by Southwest's flight operations division to its pilots on November 10.

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Pilots claim in separate reports that Boeing failed to provide safety disclosures that might have prevented the disaster.

Although divers have so far recovered the first black box, which points to a failure of the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System as a potential cause of the crash, the second black box, known as the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) is still missing.

Last week, Boeing released a statement acknowledging that Indonesian officials had told it about repeated errant data readings experienced by the plane.

Before the deadly crash into the Java Sea, a Lion Air pilot reported speed and altimeter problems minutes after takeoff in Jakarta. "People panicked. It dropped about 400 feet", passenger Robbi Gaharu said.

Mr Pratama, a medical doctor, had been required to attend a seminar in Jakarta and had joked about what his fiancée would do if he was delayed.

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