A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 Jet lands at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in December 2017. (Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, Especially…
The control function, an automatic anti-theft system, repeatedly caught the aircraft’s nose down and pilots fought to control the plane, according to a preliminary report from Indonesia’s National Transport Safety Committee on Wednesday.
The aircraft had experienced similar problems on a Lion Air flight the night ahead, but pilots on that flight had shut down the auto safety feature.
Boeing and FAA issued a security bulletin one week after the crash and the aircraft manufacturer has been in regular contact with airline officials and security officers since the accident.
But Boeing also took the extra and unprecedented encounter with the trade unions in the wake of their high profile criticism of the latest version of Boeing’s workhorse.
Southwest Captain Jon Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association and other union officials met a trio of Boeing executives for 90 minutes in Reno, Nevada, on Sunday at the end of the holiday weekend.
The meeting was requested by Boeing’s CEO, Dennis Muilenberg, according to union spokesman Mike Trevino.
Trevino said that the kind of “urgent” meeting was the first of its kind for the union. Southwest operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 737s.
“We appreciated Boeing reaching us”
On Tuesday, Boeing officials Dallas visited to meet with American Airlines captain Daniel Carey, president of the Allied Pilots Association and other union officials.
It was the first time Boeing visited the union, according to APA spokesman Dennis Tajer.
“They came to us, which is what we were looking for,” said Tajer. “They took their A-team.”
“It tells us that this is very important to them, and that they are ready to do this,” he says.
What the unions learned from Boeing
Southwest federation wanted know if there was anything else about the new plane they needed to tell their pilots.
“Our pilots are well trained and understand how to fly MAX, understand how to deal with unusual situations aboard,” Trevino said. “But more information is a good thing in our opinion, so having information about the systems on board is certainly useful for the pilot awareness.”
Boeing’s technical team said they were convinced they were no new features on MAX as pilots were unaware, Trevino said.
“But they would do further checks by other departments to verify these results,” he said. “They would double and triple to verify it. We took it as a way to make sure that there were no other systems that had not been described before.”
He said the box did not get a good answer as to why the anti-stall system, called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System or MCAS, was not disclosed to pilots before the crash.
He said the union awaits Boeing’s solutions and corrections. “
US pilots were” deeply disturbed and worried about the fact that a system that automatically takes over one of the flights controls in the air during a critical period, we were not even aware that it existed, “said Tajer.
He said Boeing has updated the information since the crash so that there is increased awareness about the system.
“We are now there we should have been before this crash happened,” he said.
But pilots had technical questions about sensors , incorrect signals and the overall MCAS system.
“It was a productive meeting filled with information exchange and an opportunity to express our concerns over the MCAS system,” says Tajer. “Boeing listened and, in our opinion, The aggressive agenda for positive action to address our concerns. “
Tajer said the union also plans to ask the American for further training on the Boeing 737 MAX in the wake. New differences between the new planet and the Boeing 737 NG American have in their fleet to motivate such a move, MA says. As MAX will eventually account for a third of American navy, a simulator said to improve pilot training.
In the meanwhile pilots ask if there is a way to take the current simulators and the program into MCAS flight characteristics, he said.
The United Airlines Pilot Union also met Boeing officials, a spokesman spokesman confirmed, but the union did not answer questions about the meeting. United operates another variant of the Boeing 737 MAX used by US and Southwest and its union had not been critical to Boeing in the wake. 59008] A Boeing spokesman had no comments on the trade unions. The company released a statement on the preliminary crash investigation. The airline repeated that the 737 MAX is safe.
“As our customers and their passengers continue to fly 737 MAX to hundreds of destinations around the world every day, they have our assurance that the 737 MAX is as safe as any airplane ever flying in the sky.”