Boeing Says It Didn’t ‘Intentionally’ Disable 737 Max Safety Alert

By Paul Riegler on 30 April 2019
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A Boeing 737 cockpit

Boeing 737 cockpit

Boeing said on Monday that its beleaguered 737 Max jets were intended to have a standard cockpit alert, known as a disagree alert, to warn pilots when the sensors were sending errant data from angle-of-attack or AoA sensors, which measure the angle of the aircraft’s nose.

The problem is believed to have been a contributing factor in the two crashes of 737 Max jets, the Lion Air crash last October and the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March of this year.

The alert, it turned out, only worked in those aircraft that also had an optional feature activated, the angle-of-attack indicator, the aircraft manufacturer disclosed.

Boeing said that the disagree alert was not considered “a safety feature” and “is not necessary for the safe operation of the airplane.”

“Boeing did not intentionally or otherwise deactivate the disagree alert on its Max airplanes,” it said. “The disagree alert was intended to be a standard, stand-alone feature on MAX airplanes. However, the disagree alert was not operable on all airplanes because the feature was not activated as intended.”

The Chicago-based company said that, despite being considered a standard feature, the disagree alert “was tied or linked” to the angle-of-attack indicator.

“Unless an airline opted for the angle-of-attack indicator, the disagree alert was not operable,” the company said.

Neither the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which oversaw the aircraft’s certification, nor Southwest Airlines, the largest customer for the 737 Max with 34 aircraft in its fleet, knew that the disagree alert was non-functional, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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