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Boeing kept secret about deadly 737 MAX alert issue for more than one year

Christian Fernsby |
Boeing did not tell U.S. regulators for more than a year that it inadvertently made an alarm alerting pilots to a mismatch of flight data optional on the 737 MAX.

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Erroneous data from a sensor responsible for measuring the angle at which the wing slices through the air known as the Angle of Attack is suspected of triggering a flawed piece of software that pushed the plane downward in two recent crashes.

Boeing said it only discovered once deliveries of the 737 MAX had begun in 2017 that the so-called AOA Disagree alert was optional instead of standard as it had intended, but added that was not critical safety data.

A Federal Aviation Administration official told Reuters on Sunday that Boeing waited more than one year before informing the agency in November 2018.

"Neither the angle of attack indicator nor the AOA Disagree alert are necessary for the safe operation of the airplane," Boeing said.

"They provide supplemental information only, and have never been considered safety features on commercial jet transport airplanes."


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