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14 Nov, 2018 16:20

Boeing’s safety analyses under review after deadly Lion Air crash - report

Boeing’s safety analyses under review after deadly Lion Air crash - report

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reviewing Boeing’s previous safety analyses and the information it distributed to the agency as part of an investigation into the Lion Air crash that killed all 189 people on board.

In a statement late Tuesday, cited by The Wall Street Journal, the FAA said it is reviewing details surrounding the safety data and conclusions distributed to the agency as part of certifying the 737 MAX 8 – the plane involved in the Lion Air crash – and MAX 9 models.

The review is part of the wider investigation into the Lion Air crash, which occurred on October 29, just minutes after the Boeing aircraft took off from Jakarta’s airport.

The WSJ article came after the newspaper also reported that Boeing had failed to warn the airline industry about a potentially dangerous feature in its new flight-control system which is suspected of playing a role in the Lion Air crash. Two pilots unions have also lashed out at Boeing for failing to inform them about the potential risks of the feature. 

The stall-prevention system was designed to help pilots avoid having to raise a plane’s nose too high. The potential fault in the system is that it can push the plane’s nose down “unexpectedly and so strongly” that pilots can’t pull it back up – even when flying manually. When this happens, the plane could dive or even crash.

However, Boeing told CNBC that it is “confident in the safety of the 737 MAX.”

As speculation continues as to whether the flight-control system was indeed to blame for the fatal crash in Indonesia, authorities are still searching for the aircraft’s black box, which could contain information on what exactly was going on in the cockpit at the time of the crash.

READ MORE: MAXimized danger: Are 200+ new Boeing 737s plagued with glitch that led to crash in Indonesia?

And while the FAA investigates the situation and the families of victims await answers, it is no secret that Boeing has faced issues with its risk analysis procedures in the past, including when it failed to recognize or counteract potentially fire-prone rechargeable lithium batteries installed in the 787 aircraft. That prompted all of those jets to be grounded until the Chicago-based Boeing and the FAA could agree on a fix.

Boeing also previously failed to inform pilots about a change involving software aimed at preventing crews of some 767 models from accidentally slamming aircraft tails during takeoff, a person familiar with the matter told the WSJ.

The Lion Air crash was the first-ever crash involving Boeing’s new 737 MAX 8.

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