Boeing Charged Extra For Additional Safety Features On 737 Max Jets
By Bill Galluccio
March 22, 2019
Boeing is facing even more scrutiny after a new report by the New York Times found that the company was charging airlines extra money for certain safety features on the brand new 737 Max jets. The additional features included an angle of attack indicator, which consists of two sensors that tell pilots the angle that the plane's nose is tilted, and a disagreement alert, which would warn the pilots if the sensors were providing conflicting information. Both Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 lacked the safety features when they crashed just months apart.
The standard Max jets only include one sensor, which is believed to have failed on the Lion Air flight. Officials are still trying to determine the exact cause of the Ethiopian Airlines crash, but have noted the similarities between the two deadly accidents. Some officials believe that if the planes were outfitted with the safety features, the pilots may have been able to save the aircraft when they started to dive.
"Had the pilots had the [angle of attack] disagreement sensor and the training as to how to respond to a light on that sensor, they would have been able to manipulate their way out of this situation," Tom Anthony, a former Federal Aviation Administration inspector told NBC News.
Boeing announced that the disagreement alert will be standard on all new Max jets, though they still plan to charge extra for the angle of attack indicator. The company is also planning a software update to fix issues with the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System that has been cited as potentially causing the planes to crash.
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