- Investigators released their final report regarding the crash of a Boeing 737 Max plane operated by Lion Air in October on Friday.
- It said that the design of the controversial MCAS software, which continually pointed the plane’s nose down “did not adequately consider the likelihood of loss of control of the aircraft,” and that Boeing should have added a fail safe system.
- In response, Boeing said its updating the software to require input from two “angle of attack” sensors instead of one.
- “These software changes will prevent the flight control conditions that occurred in this accident from ever happening again,” Boeing said.
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Responding to a final report by Indonesian investigators into the crash of a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max plane, Boeing has resolved to fix sensors found to be at fault for the death of 189 people in October 2018.
“We are addressing the KNKT’s safety recommendations,” the company, which has been embroiled in several legal suits since the crash and a similar one involving the same plane five months later in Ethiopia which killed another 157 people, said Friday.
Found to be at the heart of the first crash, according to news reports citing early copies of the report, is the plane’s anti-stall software, called MCAS, which the preliminary report identified as the reason the plane’s nose continually pointed downward out of the pilots’ control, causing it to nosedive into the sea.
“The design and certification of the MCAS did not adequately consider the likelihood of loss of control of the aircraft,” the report said.
Boeing says that it has redesigned the Angle of Attack (AoA) sensors of the system over the past several months. “Going forward,” it vowed, “MCAS will compare information from both AoA sensors before activating, adding a new layer of protection.”
Previously, the system could be actuated with information from just one of the sensors. Boeing said it’s also updated crew manuals and pilot training to “ensure every pilot has all of the information they need to fly the 737 MAX safely.”
“These software changes will prevent the flight control conditions that occurred in this accident from ever happening again,” Boeing said.
The 737 Max has been grounded since March by virtually all major countries in the world. Boeing has been working with regulators at home in the United States and abroad to regain certification for the plane. Airlines with the planes in their fleets have been hit to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars as the plane remains out of service.
Friday’s final report also noted flaws in Lion Air’s handling of the plane, including noting that 31 pages from the plane’s maintenance logs for October 2018 – the month of the fatal crash – were missing. It is not publicly known what happened to those pages.
Earlier this week, internal text messages sent by a senior Boeing test pilot were reported by The New York Times. Those “egregious” messages were sent “some months ago,” according to Reuters, which first reported on the messages. However, Boeing did not turn them over to the Federal Aviation Administration until October.
The FAA told Reuters that it found the messages “concerning” and that it was “reviewing this information to determine what action is appropriate.”
Shares of Boeing, which reported disappointing third-quarter earnings this week as it remains embroiled in controversy, remain down more than 20% since the plane was first grounded.
David Slotnick contributed to this report.
- 31 pages vanished from the maintenance log of the Lion Air Boeing 737 Max before it crashed, investigators said
- The full Lion Air crash report hammers Boeing for design flaws that brought down a 737 Max and killed 189 people
- Southwest Airlines had a great quarter despite a $US210 million hit from Boeing’s grounded 737 Max plane
- Boeing profits have fallen 95% this year as the 737 Max crisis shows no sign of slowing
- Internal Boeing survey hints at a culture of rushing through aircraft safety features in the years before 2 fatal 737 Max crashes