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Boeing apologises for 737 Max 8 crashes, preliminary findings suggests faulty sensors was the cause

It takes courage to own up to your mistakes, and Boeing took about 5 months to find the courage to take responsibility for the 737 Max 8’s crashes under Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg said that the company was “sorry for the lives lost” for both of the plane crashes involving the 737 Max 8 model. In an official statement, the CEO mentions that “erroneous activation of the MCAS function can add to what is already a high workload environment. It’s our responsibility to eliminate this risk. We own it and we know how to do it. ”

According to the manufacturer, they are taking a comprehensive, disciplined approach, and taking the time, to get the software update right. They expect to complete the changes, certification and implementation on the 737 Max fleet in the coming weeks. Boeing says it is confident that with the upcoming software update to the MCAS feature, the 737 Max will be among the safest planes ever to fly.

If you’re not been following the news for the Boeing 737 Max, the first crash occurred on the 29th October 2018 after Lion Air Flight 610 took off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport en route to Pangkal Pinang. The flight crashed into the Java Sea 12 minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 of the passengers and crew inside the plane.

5 months after the first 737 Max 8 crash, another flight of the same model under Ethiopian Airlines crashed 6 minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, killing all 157 people aboard.

Source: The Air Current

In both of these incidents, it was suspected that the plane’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) was the culprit behind the crashes. The system was designed to prevent the plane from tilting up, by bringing the nose down. It was said that the system brought down both flights, possibly due to a faulty angle of attack sensor.

According to the preliminary report of the Ethiopian Airlines crash, it was revealed that the pilots were struggling to control the flight after takeoff, with faulty sensors reading that the flight was stalling, therefore forcing the nose down. The pilots tried to trim the nose up, which they did managed to for a couple of seconds. The system was activated once and it pitched the nose even lower, causing the plane to crash down at 925 kilometres per hour.

Currently, all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft are grounded all around the world. Boeing has also announced production cuts for aircraft from 52 to 42 units per month starting mid-April.