Southwest Was Unaware of ‘Optional’ Boeing 737 Max Safety Feature

By Paul Riegler on 28 April 2019
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Southwest Airlines was not told by Boeing that a safety feature standard on earlier Boeing 737 models was made optional on the 737 Max.  The feature, known as the AOA disagree alert and which would warn pilots if and when the angle-of-attack vane sensor was sending incorrect data about the pitch of the aircraft’s nose, was made optional at extra cost on the Max.

The story was first reported in the Wall Street Journal.

The Boeing 737 Max incorporated a new feature, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, which automatically takes over if an aircraft’s nose suddenly rises in a way that could lead to stalling. The MCAS – at the time – used a single sensor to read information about the aircraft’s nose.

Since the March crash of the Ethiopian Airlines 737, Boeing said it will redesign the MCAS to read information about the aircraft’s nose angle from multiple sensors instead of just one.

Southwest only learnt about the optional feature after the Lion Air 737 Max crash in 2018.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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