Boeing has not disclosed the MAX alert issue to FAA for 13 months

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON: Boeing Co Has Told US Supervisors No More Than A Year That It Accidentally Warned An Alarm That Pilots Did Not Match Flight Data At The 737 MAX, Instead Of Standard As With Previous 737s, But Insisted On Sunday The Missing Display Represented No Security Risk.

The American Planmaker Tried Weeks To Suppress Suggestions That Airlines Paid Security Functions After It Appeared That A Warning Designed To Show Differences In Angle Of Attack Measurements Of Two Sensors Was Optional At 737 MAX.

Incorrect Data From A Sensor Responsible For Measuring The Angle Below The Wing Cuts Through The Air, Known As The Attack Angle, Are Suspected To Activate An Incorrect Piece Of Software That Pushed The Plane Down In Two Recent Crashes.

In A Statement, Boeing Said It Only Discovered Once Deliveries Of The 737 MAX Had Started 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 Said On Sunday That Boeing Waited 13 Months Before Informing The Agency In November 2018.

By Becoming Optional, The Alert Had Been Treated In The Same Way As A Separate Indicator Showing Raw AOA Data, Which Was Used By Commercial Pilots And Had Been An Add-on For Years. Neither The Angle Of Attack Indicator Nor The AOA Disagree Alert Are Necessary For The Safe Operation Of The Airplane, Boeing Said.

They Only Offer Additional Information And Have Never Been Considered As Safety Features Of Commercial Aircraft With Jet Aircraft.

Boeing Said A Safety Review Board Convened After A Fatal Crash In Indonesia Last October Corroborated Its Prior Conclusion That The Alert Was Not Necessary For Safe Operation Of Commercial Aircraft And Could Safely Be Tackled In A Future System Update. The FAA Backed That Assessment But Criticized Boeing For Being Slow To Disclose The Problem.

Boeing Briefed The FAA On The Display Issue In November, After The Lion Air Accident, And A Special Panel Deemed It To Be &low; However, Boeing ' S Timely Or Earlier Communication With The Operators Would Have Helped To Reduce Or Eliminate Possible Confusion; He Added. Boeing Attributed The Error To Software Delivered To The Firm From An Outside Source, But Did Not Give Details.

The Statement Marked The First Time Since The Two That Boeing Explicitly Acknowledged Doing Something Inadvertently In The Development Of The 737 MAX. Before The Max Returns To Service, Boeing Plans To Issue A Software Update That Will Allow The AOA Disagree Light To Operate As A Standalone Feature.

Boeing Has Also Been Working To Finalize A Redesign Of The MCAS Software That Was Mistakenly Triggered By The Faulty Sensor Readings.