American Airlines Pilots Confronted Boeing About Safety Issues Before Ethiopia Crash

A Singapore Airlines airplane at Jet Quay CIP Terminal

Pilots confronted Boeing about 737 Max before second crash

U.S. aerospace firm Boeing did not receive any new orders for aircraft in April, a month after one of its 737 MAX planes was involved in a deadly crash in Ethiopia that resulted in the immediate grounding of this model by aviation authorities and carriers around the world, CNN reported, citing a company report.

In a tense recording obtained by CBS News from American's pilots union, pilots pressed Boeing on why a flight control system under investigation as the cause of the crash was not disclosed to them when the 737 Max was originally launched.

According to the reports, the pilots were particularly concerned about the MCAS anti-stall system that investigators in both Indonesia and Ethiopia have blamed for the crashes.

Milleron said people hold the power to ground the plane. The company is now in the process of updating its planes' anti-stall system, known as MCAS.

The official, Boeing vice-president Mike Sinnett, claimed the Lion Air disaster was a once-in-a-lifetime accident.

But at the time of the meeting on November 27, Boeing executives at the meeting resisted the pilots' calls for urgent action, according to the recordings.

He said: "I don't know that understanding this system would've changed the outcome on this".

On the audio, a Boeing official is heard telling pilots that software changes were coming, perhaps in as little as six weeks, but that the company didn't want to hurry the process.

"The Committee's investigation is just getting started, and it will take some time to get answers, but one thing is clear right now: the FAA has a credibility problem", Larsen said.

Airlines and governments worldwide ordered the 737 MAX 8 to stop flying in the days after the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

But the meeting shows that pilots were already anxious about the safety of the model following the October 2018 crash in Indonesia of a Lion Air 737 MAX 8 that left no survivors of the 189 people onboard. Multiple probes have been opened into Boeing's handling of the plane's production and the Federal Aviation Administration's oversight.

President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Federal Aviation Administration says safety will be his top priority if he is confirmed.

Acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell, in opening remarks, defended the agency's longstanding practice of designating Boeing and other companies with key roles in certification. National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt will also appear at the hearing, which marks the first among several planned by House Democrats on the 747 Max plane. The Allied Pilots Association, which represents the American Airlines pilots, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Latest News