Boeing Plans Changes to 737 Max Software as Indonesian Investigators Release Lion Air Crash Findings

By Anna Breuer on 25 October 2019
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Boeing said Friday it is addressing the findings and recommendations made by Indonesian investigators who were looking into the causes of Lion Air flight 610 to make certain “that this never happens again.”

“We commend Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee for its extensive efforts to determine the facts of this accident, the contributing factors to its cause and recommendations aimed toward our common goal,” the airplane manufacturer said in a statement.

Flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea on October 29, 2018, en route from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta to Depati Amir Airport in Pangkai Pinang.  The Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed 13 minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 passengers and crewmembers.

The incident was the first major accident involving the new 737 Max, which had been introduced in 2017, and the deadliest involving a Boeing 737, surpassing the Air India Express Flight 812 in 2010.

Investigators plan to make the complete incident report public and held a news conference on Friday in advance of doing so.

At the news conference, they cited a conflation of nine factors but focused on the faulty “assumptions” Boeing made during the design and certification of the 737 Max about how pilots would respond to any errors or malfunctions by the aircraft’s relatively new and very powerful automated flight-control feature called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, that pushes down a jet’s nose and, in the case of the Lion Air crash and the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, put the aircraft into unrecoverable dives.

The 737 Max has been grounded since March after the crash of Flight 302. The two crashes combined killed 346 people. Flight recorder indicated that both aircraft had received erroneous information from the angle of attack sensor that in turn activated the MCAS shortly before both crashes.

Boeing said that the updated MCAS will compare information from two AOA sensors before it activites, “adding a new layer of protection.” The updated design means that a pilot experiencing an MCAS error will be able to pull back on the control column and deactivate the system before it can push the aircraft’s nose down.

The Chicago-based aircraft manufacturer also said it is also ‘updating crew manuals and pilot training, designed to ensure every pilot has all of the information they need to fly the 737 MAX safely.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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