Currently, the company is being investigated for failing to fix a critical cockpit warning light in its Max 737 airliners.After two airplane crashes last year which killed 346 people, Boeing has quite a fair bit of spotlight shining on their dealings.
According to a letter to Boeing, the Federal Aviation Administration and a Boeing subcontractor, Peter DeFazio and Rick Larsen noted that they had received information that even though Boeing knew the safety alert wasn’t working properly, it began delivering 737 Max airliners in 2017.
Despite the malfunction, they were being rolled out, with plans to implement a fix in 2020, three years post-malfunction.
Unfortunately, the faulty sensor was connected with both the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March and the Lion Air crash in Indonesia in October. The warning light alerts crews when an angle of attack sensor is giving false readings.
The ongoing investigation into Boeing’s choices means Boeing will need to disclose when exactly they were informed the light was defective and when the airlines were subsequently notified.
As Larsen, House subcommittee on aviation chair, said in a statement: “I have questions about the decision to not deem the AOA Disagree alert as safety critical and I am concerned it took Boeing so long to report this defective feature to the FAA and its customers.”
In April, Boeing announced that the alert was not operating correctly on all Max 737 aircraft. That was followed up by an assurance that the alert’s absence would not adversely impact the airplane safety or operation.
Boeing has said: “Based on the safety review, the update was scheduled for the MAX 10 rollout in 2020. We fell short in the implementation of the AoA Disagree alert and are taking steps to address these issues so they do not occur again.”