Fox Business News reports:
– “Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Boeing provided incomplete or misleading information about its best-selling 737 Max aircraft to U.S. air safety regulators and customers, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.”
– That investigation began five months ago — after the first crash that killed 189 people, but before the second one.
Nine days after that November 7 crash, America’s Federal Aviation Administration had issued an international emergency order “warning that Boeing had discovered an ‘unsafe condition’ that is ‘likely to exist or develop’ in other planes,” reports the Washington Post:
The FAA directive said if erroneous data is received by the 737 Max jet’s flight control system, the plane’s nose could be pushed down repeatedly. Failing to address that “could cause the flight crew to have difficulty controlling the airplane,” push the nose down and lead to “significant altitude loss, and possible impact with terrain,” according to the notice. The notice told pilots that, if bad data causes problems to appear, they should “disengage autopilot” and use other controls and adjust other switches to fly the plane….
Investigators scouring black box data believe an automatic anti-stalling feature was engaged before a Boeing 737 Max jet crashed and killed 157 people in EthiÂoÂpia, an administration official said Friday. The feature, known as MCAS, also was a factor in the October crash in Indonesia, according to investigators. The investigators said inaccurate information from an outside sensor led MCAS to force the nose of the plane down over and over again.
That explanation is also supported by the positioning of equipment on the aircraft’s tail “in a way that would push the plane’s nose downward, consistent with the black box finding,” reports the Washington Post.
Fox Business also reports that Boeing currently has over 4,600 “unfilled” orders for its 737 Max jets.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.