Air NZ flight from LA cancelled after tarmac crash

Governance       Boeing didn’t warn of 737 feature tied to deadly crash US pilots say
       
       	        Alan Levin and Mary Schlangenstein         13 November 2018

Citing "safety experts involved in the investigation, as well as mid-level FAA officials and airline pilots", the Journal reported Monday that the automated stall-prevention system on Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 models - meant to help cockpit crews avoid mistakenly raising a plane's nose dangerously high - "under unusual conditions can push it down unexpectedly and so strongly that flight crews can't pull it back up".

But the new system in the 737 uses data from the aircraft's AOA and airspeed sensors to proactively counter pilot error, adjusting the aircraft's controls to push the nose down if the sensors indicate the aircraft could stall. Incorrect data readings can trigger the MCAS system to force the plane into a nose-dive, even if the plane is not on autopilot. Flight crews have a right to be concerned that details about the new system weren't included in manuals and the short training courses they were required to take before flying the upgraded 737, Cox said.

"We know, because this incident happened, we know we need additional training", he said. It wasn't in our books. Dennis Tajer, a 737 captain and spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association at American Airlines Group Inc., said his union's members were also concerned.

The crash is said to be a blow to the country's aviation safety record after the lifting of bans on its airlines by the European Union and US.

"I was not pleased".

The Oct 29 crash was the first accident involving the 737 MAX, an updated version of Boeing's workhorse narrowbody jet that entered service past year. More than 200 have been delivered to airlines worldwide, including American, Southwest and United. Boeing hasn't yet officially commented on the reports.

"We ensure that we provide all of the information that is needed to safely fly our airplanes", Muilenburg told Fox Business News.

Pilots should follow Boeing's manual when confronted with this anomalous situation, the company initially wrote in its advisory last week.

Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration issued directives last week telling flight crews about the system, which is created to provide extra protection against pilots losing control.

Soerjanto Tjahjono, head of Indonesia's transportation safety committee of crash investigators (KNKT), said on Monday that Indonesian regulators would tighten training requirements as a result of the findings of the investigation so far.

Investigating experts are still looking into the matter, trying to find out whether this was the case in last month's accident, when the Lion Air flight en route from Jakarta dove into the Java Sea on October 29.

In 2013, one of its Boeing 737-800 jets missed the runway while landing on Bali, crashing into the sea without causing any fatalities among the 108 people on board.

In a parallel move, the newspaper quoted an unnamed high-profile Boeing representative as saying that the company had made a decision to leave out some details about the new models of aircraft so as to not feed pilots with excessive information. "They have increased pilot awareness, they have reminded them of the proper procedure to disable (the automatic nose-down action), which stops the problem". The first document that spoke about this issue was the November 6 Boeing bulletin after the Lion Air crash.

The Wall Street Journal reported that USA and Indonesian investigators are increasingly focusing on the way that the plane's automated control systems interact.

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