Pilots confronted Boeing about 737 Max before second crash

Pilots confronted Boeing about 737 Max before second crash

The Max 8 variant was first conceived in 2006 as the newest version of Boeing's best-selling 737 and was developed on a six-year schedule.

Boeing Co.'s 737 sales tally for this year dropped by 171 aircraft in April as the company adjusted its order book to reflect the financial woes of Jet Airways India Ltd., a major customer of the US planemaker's Max models.

The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, reported on Tuesday that an internal FAA review "tentatively determined" that senior officials at the agency weren't involved in or didn't monitor important safety assessments of the 737 MAX flight-control system. Critics have accused the FAA of being too cozy with Boeing, inhibiting its ability to effectively regulate the company.

"No one has yet to conclude that the sole cause of this was this function on the airplane", he said, according to the recording.

The two plane crashes in Ethiopia in March and in Indonesia last October killed 346 people.

"The worst thing that can ever happen is a tragedy like this, and the even worse thing would be another one", he said later in the meeting held four months before the Ethiopian Airlines disaster.

"So the opposite of data is common sense", said Representative Steve Cohen, a Tennessee Democrat.

The pilots indicated they weren't aware of the 737 Max's computerized stability program - the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS.

"I am not happy about a 13-month gap", he said, adding that the agency would fix the issue.

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But at the time of the meeting on November 27, Boeing executives at the meeting resisted the pilots' calls for urgent action, according to the recordings. The Allied Pilots Association, which represents the American Airlines pilots, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Our team continues to work collaboratively with the FAA, Boeing and the Allied Pilots Association in this process".

Most of the toughest questions came from Democrats, with some Republicans on the panel expressing support for the FAA and for Boeing.

"We remain confident that the impending software updates, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing for the MAX, will lead to recertification of the aircraft soon", said an American Airlines spokesman.

"What scares me is climbing on an aircraft or airline that is outside U.S. jurisdiction".

MS: "I don't know that understanding this system would've changed the outcome on this". He says he has a track record of working in a collaborative fashion but he understands safety decisions must be made by the FAA.

On Wednesday, a Congressional committee will question the Federal Aviation Administration, over the certification of the 737 Max.

Elwell said his hope was for better coordination in returning the 737 MAX to the skies than had been the case in grounding it, when global aviation authorities acted separately.

DeFazio said the committee is still in the early stages of its review of how the plane was certified by FAA. He said he's hopeful they will provide the documents voluntarily.

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