According to The New York Times and CBS, American Airlines pilots already told Boeing in November last year that a solution to the security problems with a software system with the 737 Max had to be found quickly. Boeing is said to have refused.
CBS News has published a video item containing various audio clips in which can be heard that American Airlines pilots express their frustration towards Boeing about the safety of the 737 Max aircraft. For example, it can be heard how an American Airlines pilot tells a Boeing employee that “we simply deserve to know what’s on our planes.” The pilots are indignant about the fact that the existence of the so-called MCAS was only made known after the first Lion Air crash in October last year. “These guys didn’t even know the damn system was on the plane and nobody else knew that.” With this, the pilots present probably refer to the Lion Air pilots who, in October of last year, twelve minutes after taking off, were unable to prevent their 737 Max 8 aircraft from crashing into the Java Sea.
Boeing vice president Mike Sinnett, who according to CBS was present at the meeting with the pilots and did not know that his statements were being recorded, stated that the Lion Air crash was a very exceptional scenario. “I don’t know if the understanding of this system had changed anything at the end. We try not to overload the pilots with information that is unnecessary, so that they are familiar with the information that we think is really important.” The pilots present were reportedly not satisfied with that answer. “We are the last line of defense before a crash and we need that knowledge.” According to The New York Times, Sinnett also said during the meeting that no one has yet concluded that MCAS was the only cause of the crash. Boeing would then have indicated that he would come up with a fix, but the company did not want to rush it. This solution was still not implemented when the second aircraft crashed in Ethiopia in March this year. 346 people died in both crashes.
The so-called MCAS is probably the culprit and the cause of which a 737 Max from the Indonesian Lion Air in October last year and the same type of aircraft from Ethiopian Airlines crashed in March this year. Final, official final research results are yet to follow, but much is already clear. Boeing has integrated the system to prevent a strike situation and has set it up so that the input came from only one of the two angle sensors present. Presumably due to incorrect data from this sensor, the software system thought that there was a too large angle of incidence, and therefore a situation where the nose would be directed too far upwards and that as a result, there was a threat of overlap. The system responded by pushing the nose down considerably more than once, at an angle of no less than 45 degrees. A warning light that could indicate that deviating values were detected with the angle-of-view sensors was optional and was not on either device. Boeing is going to standardize that and will soon come up with a software update that must adjust the system so that such crashes are a thing of the past. All types of this device are still on the ground for now.