Boeing Admits It’s Faulty System Contributed To 737 MAX Crash

Photo of author

(— April 5, 2019) — Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg apologizes for lives that were lost in two crashes of a new Boeing 737 MAX. He said that the crashes were a result of a chain of events in which the 737 MAX 8’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) contributed to the tragedy.

“The full details of what happened in the two accidents will be issued by the government authorities in the final reports,” Muilenburg said in a video posted Thursday.

“It’s apparent that in both flights the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, known as MCAS, activated in response to [the] erroneous angle of attack information,” he continued.

A total of 346 people were killed in two accidents involving the Boeing 737 MAX. Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 plunged into a field shortly after takeoff in March, killing all 157 people on board and Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610 nosedived into the sea last October, killing all 189 passengers and crew that were on board.

Investigators discovered “clear similarities” between both accidents, and interviewed pilots who complained about Boeing’s MCAS system. Allegedly, the system forces the airplane to a nose down position when pilots command nose up. This error was attributed to false data the system receives in a critical part of the flight such as during takeoff. Pilots who experienced similar issues said they fixed the problem by deactivating the MCAS system.

A group of Boeing engineers told the Seattle Times last month that pilots of Ethiopian and Indonesian 737 MAX 8’s were unaware of how to override the MCAS system. In addition, Boeing promises to address this problem by providing “additional educational materials.” The company will also install a warning light which alerts pilots to turn of MCAS in case of an unintentional nose dive position. All new warning lights will be fitted as standard.

Fixing the MCAS software problem, Boeing’s technicians discovered yet another ‘minor’ problem potentially hazardous for the aircraft. Boeing officials didn’t disclose the exact nature of the new software issue but issued a fix. However, the newly discovered problem will delay the return of the 737 MAX fleet in the sky, after all aircrafts were downed when Etiopian flight 302 crashed.