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US NewsBoeing Knew About Safety-Alert Problem for a Year Before Telling FAA, Airlines

07:25  06 may  2019
07:25  06 may  2019 Source:   msn.com

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The problem kept a safety feature found on earlier models from functioning on the 737 MAX. From taking the lead in grounding the Boeing 737 MAX to Boeing Co. didn’t share information about a problem with a cockpit safety alert for about a year before the issue drew attention with the October

Boeing didn’t share information about a problem with a cockpit safety alert for about a year before the issue drew attention with the October crash of a Senior FAA and airline officials increasingly are raising questions about how transparent the Chicago aerospace giant has been regarding problems

Boeing Knew About Safety-Alert Problem for a Year Before Telling FAA, Airlines © lindsey wasson/Reuters Boeing Co. didn’t share information about a problem with a cockpit safety alert for about a year before the issue drew attention with the October crash of a 737 MAX jet in Indonesia, and then gave some airlines and pilots partial and inconsistent explanations, according to industry and government officials.

It was only after a second MAX accident in Ethiopia nearly five months later, these officials said, that Boeing became more forthcoming with airlines about the problem. And the company didn’t publicly disclose the software error behind the problem for another six weeks, in the interim leaving the flying public and, according to a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, the agency’s acting chief unaware.

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Boeing Knew About Safety - Alert Problem for a Year Before Telling FAA , Airlines . “They need to develop a muscle memory of their experiences so that it will be immediately accessible to them in the future, even years from now, when they experience such a crisis,” he said Wednesday at a hearing of.

We all trust Boeing to be proactive about safety concerns. Will the FAA continue to let this behavior slide? Will Boeing 's military and civilian customers finally step forward and demand an independent review? Don’t just read the story, tell it: contribute your ideas and experience to the dialogue.

The length of time between when Boeing realized the problem and when it shared that information hasn’t been previously reported. The problem kept a safety feature found on earlier models from functioning on the MAX, though it isn’t clear if the feature would have prevented either crash.

Video: Boeing CEO: Company has to 'work' to regain trust (Associated Press)

Senior FAA and airline officials increasingly are raising questions about how transparent the Chicago aerospace giant has been regarding problems with the cockpit warnings, according to people familiar with their thinking.

The growing scrutiny could pose new challenges to Boeing’s efforts to shore up confidence in the 737 MAX, solicit regulatory support around the globe and get the MAX fleet, grounded after the second crash, flying again.

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Boeing didn’t share information about a problem with a cockpit safety alert for about a year before the issue drew attention with the October crash And the company didn’t publicly disclose the software error behind the problem for another six weeks, in the interim leaving the flying public and, according

Boeing Knew About Safety - Alert Problem for a Year Before Telling . Boeing Co. didn’t share information about a problem with a cockpit safety alert for about a year before the issue drew attention with the October The problem kept a safety feature found on earlier models from

Meanwhile, as part of a criminal probe into whether Boeing misled regulators or customers, investigators as recently as last week were asking questions about how the MAX jets gained approval for flight and about Boeing officials involved in the process.

On Sunday, Boeing said company engineers in 2017 identified that the alerts weren’t operating as intended due to a software error. Boeing said that at the time it relied on standard internal procedures and conducted an internal review by engineers and managers that determined that the problem didn’t “adversely impact airplane safety or operation.” Senior Boeing leaders didn’t learn about the issue until after the Oct. 29, 2018, Lion Air crash, the company said.

Boeing Knew About Safety-Alert Problem for a Year Before Telling FAA, Airlines © ASSOCIATED PRESS A Boeing 737 MAX 7 jet is parked near single engine planes at the airport adjacent to a Boeing Co. production facility Monday, April 8, 2019, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) The conclusions were shared with midlevel FAA officials after the Lion Air crash, according to Boeing and the FAA. An FAA spokesman said midlevel agency officials analyzed the issue of the inoperable alerts from November 2018 to February, and concluded emergency action wasn’t required.

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The problem kept a safety feature found on earlier models from functioning on the MAX, though it isn’t clear if Senior FAA and airline officials increasingly are raising questions about how transparent the Chicago aerospace wsj.com/articles/ boeing - knew - about - safety - alert - problem - for - a - year - before

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Boeing, according to industry and government officials, told different airlines months apart from one another that the cockpit alerts—intended to warn pilots about certain sensor malfunctions—didn’t work on most of the global MAX fleet as originally designed, due to a software error. The same feature—called angle-of-attack disagree alerts—is to be made standard on all 737 MAX jets as part of an impending software fix aimed at getting the grounded fleet back in the air. The alerts warn pilots if sensors measuring the angle of a plane’s nose are sending errant data.

Such alerts offer an extra safeguard for pilots in the event a separate stall-prevention system called MCAS misfires, a situation that led to the Lion Air crash and the March crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet. The crashes took a total of 346 lives. It isn’t clear whether functioning alerts, supplemental to the MCAS system, would have made a difference in either accident.

At the company’s annual shareholder meeting on April 29, Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg said the company was focused on safety and that the plane maker would look for ways to improve how it develops airplanes.

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Boeing knew of a software error that prevented the correct functioning of a safety alert system on the 737 Max for a year before disclosing the problem to regulators and airlines , according to a Sunday Another six weeks passed before the public and FAA acting chief Daniel Elwell learned of the issue.

Boeing Knew About Safety-Alert Problem for a Year Before Telling FAA, Airlines © Thomson Reuters Mr. Muilenburg said later that the alerts “will be standard on all the 737 MAXs,” hours before the plane maker disclosed it had actually intended the safety features to be standard.

Boeing said it realized the alerts weren’t operating several months after the first deliveries of the model, which was certified to carry passengers in March 2017.

On Friday, a spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines Co., the largest MAX customer, said Boeing told the carrier about the inoperative alerts after the Lion Air crash. Southwest learned about the problem with the alerts by late November, and began installing additional cockpit indicators late last year.

Over the weekend, a spokesman for United Continental Holdings Inc., another major MAX operator, said Boeing first told the airline about the software error toward the end of March, four months later than Southwest, in the wake of the Ethiopia crash, which took 157 lives. United had believed the alerts were part of an optional package it declined, before eventually learning its MAX aircraft actually had the feature but it wasn’t working, the carrier’s spokesman said.

WestJet, a Canadian carrier, has said it wanted its 13 MAXs to have the warning for when the two angle-of-attack sensors disagree, just as its older 737s do. A spokesperson for the carrier said Saturday the airline learned about an issue with the alerts “earlier this year with further clarifications in the months after.”

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The problem kept a safety feature found on earlier models from functioning on the MAX, though it isn’t clear if Senior FAA and airline officials are raising questions about how transparent the Chicago Senior Boeing leaders didn’t learn about the issue until after the Oct. 29, 2018, Lion Air crash, the

Boeing Knew About 737 Max Sensor Problem Before Plane Crash In Indonesia. Boeing said on Sunday that it was aware of problems with a key safety indicator in 2017, but it didn't inform airlines or the FAA until after the Lion Air crash a year later.

A House Transportation Committee investigation, among other things, is looking into why the FAA and Boeing didn’t publicly disseminate information about the nonfunctioning sensors, according to people familiar with the matter.

Meanwhile, questioning continues in the federal criminal investigation into the suspect MCAS system, and how the jetliner was certified.

Gallery: Behind the scenes at the Boeing factory (USA Today)

Boeing Knew About Safety-Alert Problem for a Year Before Telling FAA, Airlines
As recently as last week, two prosecutors and federal special agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Transportation inspector general’s office interviewed a former Boeing employee and asked broad questions about the manner in which the suspect flight-control system was developed, according to a person familiar with the meeting.

During the interview, which was conducted near Boeing’s facilities in Everett, Wash., the prosecutors and agents asked questions about how the system underwent official technical reviews covering potential hazards, this person said. Prosecutors and agents asked about specific Boeing executives and pilots involved in the MAX program, this person said, adding that investigators appeared to have already gathered at least one internal Boeing email.

An FAA spokesman said the agency was set to issue a world-wide special safety information bulletin when the Ethiopian crash intervened and the planes were grounded. Boeing’s statement confirmed that it worked with the FAA to develop a plan to resolve the alert problem as part of a broader software fix.

Boeing Knew About Safety-Alert Problem for a Year Before Telling FAA, Airlines © Thomson Reuters Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are parked at a Boeing production facility in Renton, Washington, U.S., March 11, 2019. REUTERS/David Ryder The FAA also said that Daniel Elwell, the agency’s acting chief, didn’t learn about the inoperative alerts until The Wall Street Journal published an article on the topic April 28. The agency is reviewing its procedures for sharing information among various levels of management, as well as about safety evaluations of new models, the spokesman said.

Some senior FAA officials expressed concern that Boeing didn’t directly make them aware of the problem sooner, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Boeing didn’t publicly disclose that the alerts didn’t work until the next day, when it released a statement indicating “the feature was not activated as intended.”

For its part, the FAA said that “timely or earlier communication with the operators would have helped to reduce or eliminate possible confusion.”

Audio reveals pilots confronting Boeing after deadly crashes.
The audio details a tense meeting in November 2018, less than a month after the first 737 Max crashed

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