Published: Sat, March 30, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Anti-stall system activated in Ethiopian Boeing crash

Anti-stall system activated in Ethiopian Boeing crash

Boeing has said its planned software update and further pilot training guidelines for the Max will address concerns.

The profit warning, its second in seven weeks after the earlier revelation of a slump in margins, sent shares in the First Choice operator tumbling by 32½ p to 737¼p, a fall of 4.2 per cent and down more than 50 per cent over the past 12 months.

The preliminary finding officially links Boeing's Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) to a second crash within a five month period.

In the wake of the tragedy, aviation authorities and carriers around the world, including in Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, France, Germany, South Africa, the European Union, China and Russian Federation, have either grounded all 737 MAX 8 series aircraft or closed their airspace to them.

"Boeing ... is working with the authorities to evaluate new information as it becomes available", it said, adding all inquiries about the investigation must be directed to the investigating authorities. Filed in a Chicago court, it claims that Boeing had defectively designed the automated flight control system and had failed to warn the public, airlines and pilots of the airplane's allegedly erroneous sensors. Ethiopian officials were expected to release their preliminary findings shortly.

Embattled aviation giant Boeing pledged Wednesday to do all it can to prevent crashes like two that killed almost 350 people in recent months, as it unveiled a fix to the flight software of its grounded 737 MAX aircraft.

An American Airlines flight manual for 737 MAX pilots dated October 2017 did state that the thumb switches had less ability to right the nose than the manual wheel, but did not enter into specifics about when the wheel might be essential to keep the craft airborne.

Boeing said it could not comment on the suit.

Press reports say that the Department of Justice has also opened a criminal investigation into the 737 MAX's development.

In other words, Boeing will have some substantial liability in both crashes, and perhaps even in the costs associated with grounding the 737 Max fleet around the world.

The MCAS, which lowers the aircraft's nose if it detects a stall or loss of airspeed, was developed specifically for the 737 MAX, which has heavier engines than its predecessor. And until those questions get fully answered, there's also this one: can the FAA certify that the fixes proposed by Boeing will really resolve the issue on the 737 Max?

Sinnett said making the software updates to each plane will take about an hour and will begin immediately.

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