Boeing Knew But Did Not Disclose 737 Max Sensor Issue

Boeing 737 Max
(Photo: REUTERS/Matt Mills McKnight)

Boeing is aware that there is an issue with the safety feature of its 737 Max planes however, the company did not disclose this to the safety regulators or the airline companies. The aircraft's safety indicator called the Angle of Attack (AOA) Disagree Alert is not working properly but the plane-maker chose not to reveal this concerned organizations.   

This indicator gives a signal to warn pilots if the plane's sensors are transmitting contradictory data based on the direction of the jet's nose and considered as one of the key features in the safety department. As per Channel News Asia, the inaccurate data from this indicator that measures the angle when the plane's wing slices through the air are being suspected as the cause of sending wrong information to the software and drove the plane to dive down and crash.

In a press release, Boeing stated that the company only found out about the flaw on the sensors in 2017, a few months after they have delivered the 737 Max planes to airlines. It was said that upon discovery, they assessed the sensors again to see what's wrong.  

Then again, Boeing said that the AOA alert on 737 MAX is not really a standard feature. Rather, it was an optional safety indicator.

"Neither the angle of attack indicator nor the AOA Disagree alert are necessary for the safe operation of the airplane," Boeing stated in the release. "They provide supplemental information only, and have never been considered safety features on commercial jet transport airplanes."

Moreover, the problem is that Boeing already discovered the flaw but it waited 13 months before reporting the issue to the Federal Aviation Agency. The flaw was divulged in November 2018, a month after the Lion Air crash in Indonesia.

Fox Business Network reported that a judge relayed that Boeing is now facing grave legal liabilities after it stayed quiet even after knowing there is something wrong with the sensors.

"Their problems are potentially grave both with respect to civil liability and criminal law," Judge Napolitano said during an interview with FOX Business. The judge added that under U.S. law, a criminal investigation could also be carried out if the federal prosecutors will order it.

Meanwhile, Boeing is set to replace its 900 inspectors after the company came under fire for not informing the safety regulators about a glitch in the AOA. in response to this sudden decision, the workers' union was enraged and called  move as a bad decision

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