Boeing admits knowing 737 Max problem a year before crashes

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Boeing has admitted it knew the 737 Max planes had alert system problems a year before the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines fatal crashes. The company had previously acknowledge that it had inadvertently made an alarm feature optional instead of standard but maintained that the software issue “did not adversely impact airplane safety or operation.”

The aerospace giant however did nothing to resolve 737 Max aircraft software problem. In October 2018 Lion Air and March 2019 Ethiopian Airlines crashed killing 346 people. Both flights involved the 737 Max. Initially boeing tried to place the blame of human error but an internal investigation by Ethiopian Airline reveal a system malfunction.

The software problem relates to lack of the alert function disagree alert that is supposed to notify pilots that a sensor was malfunctioning. Following both crash, preliminary investigations revel faulty data from a malfunctioning angle of attack (AOA) sensor triggered the aircrafts’ anti-stall software, known as MCAS, which pitched down the nose of the planes as pilots struggled for control.

After the Ethiopian Airlines crash, Beoing was forced to ground all 737 Max planes worldwide and promised to fix the software problem. However, questions are still being ask about Boeing’s safety responsibility especially as it has been reveal that the company knew about the software problem but did nothing to fix it. Will aviation authorities take a tougher approach to aerospace companies’ safety obligations and will the victims of both crashes ever get justice.

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