After Lion Air crash, Boeing doubled down on faulty 737 MAX assumptions
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November 9, 2019 - by Dominic Gates For seattletimes.com
- After the fatal Lion Air crash, Boeing stuck with faulty assumptions about the 737 MAX, and missed an opportunity to reevaluate before a second deadly crash happened.Revelations in MCAS presentation Boeing made to FAA seven weeks after 1st crash.
Seven weeks after the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX operated by Lion Air killed 189 people in Indonesia, the jetmaker made a detailed presentation to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) justifying its design of the flight control system that had repeatedly pushed the jet's nose down.
It concluded, in an exculpatory phrase repeated on multiple slides, that there was "No process violation or non-compliance" in how the jet was certified by the regulators.
But in hindsight, details in the December 2018 slide presentation reveal serious holes in the original evaluation of the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) flight-control software.
Equally troubling, despite clear indications from the previous month's Lion Air tragedy that the pilots had not responded as Boeing's safety analyses assumed, the presentation reiterated the same assumptions and never approached the question of whether the MAX should still be flying.
Flaws in the original safety analysis of MCAS are apparent now after a second crash involving an Ethiopian Airlines MAX in March, and a great deal of reporting on what went wrong on both flights.
That December presentation reveals Boeing's thinking soon after the first crash and indicates both a substantial effort to deflect blame and a missed opportunity to reevaluate before the second crash happened.
The presentation shows that Boeing...
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