Boeing learned about alert problem months before 737 crash

Boeing knew that an alert on its 737 Max aircrafts did not meet alert requirements and it did not tell this to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) until after a deadly crash.

"In 2017, within several months after beginning 737 MAX deliveries, engineers at Boeing identified that the 737 MAX display system software did not correctly meet the AOA Disagree alert requirements," the company said in a statement Sunday. After it became aware of this, Boeing conducted a review and determined that the alert's absence "did not adversely impact airplane safety or operation."

ADVERTISEMENT

It added that senior company leaders were not involved in the inquiry and were not aware of the issue until after a Lion Air flight crashed in October, killing 189. 

"Boeing discussed the status of the AOA Disagree alert with the FAA in the wake of the Lion Air accident," the company said. "At that time, Boeing informed the FAA that Boeing engineers had identified the software issue in 2017 and had determined per Boeing’s standard process that the issue did not adversely impact airplane safety or operation."

It also said that in December 2018, Boeing convened a Safety Review Board which again determined that there was not a safety issue. 

Boeing said that it is "issuing a display system software update, to implement the AOA Disagree alert as a standard, standalone feature before the MAX returns to service."

Boeing 737 Max planes came under scrutiny following the Lion Air crash and an Ethiopian Airlines crash earlier this year that killed 157. President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE and the leaders of several other countries temporarily grounded the planes.