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Boeing: What did they know and when did they know it? Options
Oscar D. Grouch
Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2019 9:36:38 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/26/2014
Posts: 761
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Boeing didn’t plan to fix 737 MAX warning light until 2020

After discovering a problem in 2017 with a cockpit warning light on the 737 MAX, Boeing decided it would defer an update to fix the issue until 2020, officials said Friday.

Even as it continued delivering MAX airplanes to customers, Boeing had kept quiet the details of the problem, which prevented a light from warning pilots when there was disagreement between the plane’s angle-of-attack sensors. Those sensors are now suspected of playing a role in two MAX crashes.

The company didn’t disclose the issue to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) until after a 737 MAX crash in Indonesia last year, something that frustrated FAA leadership. Now, leaders with a transportation committee in the U.S. House said they have obtained information about the initial plan to fix the issue in 2020. They have sent letters to Boeing, the FAA and supplier United Technologies requesting documents around the problematic alert.

“An important part of the Committee’s investigation is finding out what Boeing knew, when the company knew it and who it informed,” said Rep. Rick Larsen, a Washington state Democrat who leads the aviation subcommittee. “I have questions about the decision to not deem the AOA Disagree alert as safety critical and I am concerned it took Boeing so long to report this defective feature to the FAA and its customers.”

Boeing has said that its engineers discovered that the warning light wasn’t functioning in 2017, but the company concluded that the issue did not adversely impact the safety or operation of the plane. In a statement Friday, the company said it determined that it was acceptable to wait to modify the system software on its next planned display system update, which was scheduled for the rollout of the 737 MAX 10 in 2020.
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