US pilots say flyers not told of 737 Max safety risks

Crucial details omitted by Boeing in aircraft manual may have prevented deadly Lion Air crash

Boeing Kept Pilots in the Dark About Hazards of 737 Model's Feature - Reports

A Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed on October 29 minutes after taking off from Jakarta, killing all 189 people aboard. The US company has been relying on profit reaped from faster output of the narrow-body jet to ease financial strain from introducing its newest wide-body aircraft, the 777X.

Boeing sells the single-aisle Boeing 737 aircraft in two versions, the classic Boeing 737 NG and the new generation Boeing 737 MAX. The error Capt Thomas refers to involves a sensor which could erroneously indicate that the aircraft nose is dangerously high.

Two pilots unions have lashed out at Boeing for failing to properly explain a safety feature on the 737 Max aircraft in their manuals.

Boeing released an operational bulletin on Wednesday, warning all airlines about how to address any erroneous readings related to the AOA sensor.

On the Pilots of America online forum, an American Airlines pilot posted an informational bulletin from a pilot's association and added this: "We had NO idea that this MCAS even existed".

Feinstein said American updated its pilot manuals on Friday.

"It is information that we were not privy to in training or in any other manuals or materials", he said.

The airline said the Boeing 777-300 was at the gate and ready for boarding when the horizontal stabiliser on its tail was clipped by another aircraft being towed causing significant damage.

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Until now, public attention has focused mainly on potential maintenance problems including a faulty sensor for the "angle of attack", a vital piece of data needed to help the aircraft fly at the right angle to the currents of air and prevent a stall.

Preliminary findings from investigators looking into the October 29 crash of the Lion Air 737 MAX 8 suggest that faulty angle-of-attack data contributed to the drastic ups and downs that preceded the loss of the plane and all 189 people who were aboard.

U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing was silent on this, till the Lion Air crash investigations forced it to reveal the unique response that this aircraft had when its systems sensed that the nose was dangerously high.

Other major customers for the 737 MAX include FlyDubai with 7 in operation out of an order of 251, Jet Airways with a fleet of 5 out of a total of 220 on order and Lion Air who had received 13 of their order of 201.

"We've just been informed that there's an entire new system on the Max called the MCAS", said Captain Dennis Tajer, spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, the union for pilots at American Airlines, and a 737 pilot.

"We are taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this incident, working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved", the company said in a statement by email. "But the pilots don't know this and are not trained on this".

The Max has accounted for 37 percent of all 737 deliveries this year, trailing Boeing's goal of 40 to 45 percent.

"There are new systems on the airplanes that are created to take advantage of the capabilities of the airplane and provide control capability and high angle-of-attack conditions and those systems operate properly".

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