FAA Chief: Pilots Should Have Been Told About Automated System On 737 Max

Boeing said on Sunday that it was aware of problems with a key safety indicator in 2017, but it didn't inform airlines or the FAA until after the Lion Air crash a year later. Here, 737 Max jets built for American Airlines (left) and Air Canada are parked at the airport adjacent to a Boeing production facility in Renton, Wash. CREDIT: ELAINE THOMPSON/AP
Boeing has previously said it was aware of problems with a key safety indicator in 2017, but it didn't inform airlines or the FAA until after the Lion Air crash a year later. Here, 737 Max jets built for American Airlines (left) and Air Canada are parked at the airport adjacent to a Boeing production facility in Renton, Wash. CREDIT: ELAINE THOMPSON/AP

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A U.S. House committee grilled air regulators about Boeing’s 737 Max Wednesday.

They asked why pilots were not told about the automated system known as MCAS from the very beginning.

“It wasn’t in the manual and they didn’t know about it,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon).

Acting FAA chief Daniel Elwell replied, “I as a pilot when I first heard about this, I thought that there should have been more text in the manual about MCAS, I agree.”

The union representing American Airlines pilots has the same question. That union brought a recording device to a meeting with Boeing shortly after the first 737 Max crash, a Lion Air flight off Indonesia.

In the recording obtained by CBS, pilots were angry — they hadn’t known MCAS even existed.

“These guys didn’t even know the damn system was on the airplane, nor did anybody else. We’re the last line of defense to being in that smoking hole and we need the knowledge,” pilots said in the meeting.

But the Boeing executives responded that pilots didn’t need their heads cluttered up with information about MCAS.

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Boeing said on Sunday that it was aware of problems with a key safety indicator in 2017, but it didn't inform airlines or the FAA until after the Lion Air crash a year later. Here, 737 Max jets built for American Airlines (left) and Air Canada are parked at the airport adjacent to a Boeing production facility in Renton, Wash. CREDIT: ELAINE THOMPSON/AP

Boeing Knew About 737 Max Sensor Problem Before Plane Crash In Indonesia

Boeing knew that there was a problem with one of the safety features on its 737 Max planes back in 2017 – well before the Lion Air crash in October 2018 and the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March. But it did not disclose the issue to airlines or safety regulators until after the Lion Air plane crashed off the Indonesian coast, killing all 189 aboard. Continue Reading Boeing Knew About 737 Max Sensor Problem Before Plane Crash In Indonesia