Boeing, US regulator weigh software fix on 737 Max after crash

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

This comes following the devastating Lion Air crash that killed 189 people on October 29. "We will always be eager and aggressive in gaining any knowledge of new aircraft". Both are major operators of the 737 variant, and both have numerous 737 MAX aircraft on order. MCAS intervenes at a threshold angle of attack and automatically trims nose down at a rate of 0.27 degrees per second to a maximum of 2.5 degrees.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was reviewing details surrounding the safety data and conclusions the company previously provided to it as part of certifying 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 models.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg took a different perspective today during an interview on Fox Business Network.

The complaints from pilot union leaders at Southwest Airlines Co. and American are significant because of the size of those carriers' 737 fleets and their Max purchases. "This is the first description you, as 737 pilots, have seen", it said.

"Because the Max is a derivative aircraft, we doubt that this is a difficult-to-correct technical issue as the battery fire early in the 787's life, appeared to be", Cowen analyst Cai von Rumohr said in a note.

According to the report, Boeing told airlines that such a situation "can result in a steep dive or crash - even if pilots are manually flying the jetliner and don't expect flight-control computers to kick in". "It is not very unlikely" that Boeing knew about the problem, he said, warning that "more than 200 planes are concerned and this could happen tomorrow again".

"We are taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this incident, working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved", the company said in a statement by email.

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While the problem is not entirely new, it is unclear how Boeing had tackled it, according to Giemulla.

A Southwest spokeswoman said the new automated maneuvering system was not included in the operating manual for MAX models.

The automated system is created to help pilots avoid raising the plane's nose too high, which can cause the plane to stall, or lose the aerodynamic lift needed to keep flying.

Until now, public attention has focused mainly on potential maintenance problems including a faulty sensor for the "angle of attack", a vital piece of data needed to help the aircraft fly at the right angle to the currents of air and prevent a stall.

Boeing Co and United States aviation regulators are weighing whether to issue a software fix to the 737 Max, the aircraft type involved in a recent crash in Indonesia to ensure that the plane won't dive aggressively without pilot commands.

He told RT that the "angle-of-attack" sensor and the computerized system it feeds are "helpful but not essential to safe flight".

"There are new systems on the airplanes that are created to take advantage of the capabilities of the airplane and provide control capability and high angle-of-attack conditions and those systems operate properly". "This is important systems information that pilots should know about".

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