A recording has emerged of a meeting between Boeing and AA pilots following the wake of the crash of Lion Air Flight 610. The pilots, who are represented in the meeting by labor body APA, express concern over the 737 MAX, while Boeing officials appear to be reticent about enacting any software fix.
It has emerged that, in the month following the crash of Lion Air Flight 610, officials from the union that represents American Airlines (AA) pilots met with executives at Boeing regarding their concerns over the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) of its 737 MAX aircraft, The Daily Mail reports.
Audio of the meeting between Boeing officials and representatives of the Allied Pilots Association (APA) has been made public and reveals a sense of frustration on the part of AA’s pilots over the manufacturer’s perceived lack of action with regards to the incident. More importantly, the audio excerpts also reveal that pilots were entirely unaware that this system was a feature of the craft until the crash of JT610.
In an excerpt of the audio recording, as quoted by CBS, one AA pilot can be heard to say, “We flat out deserve to know what is on our airplanes.”
“These guys didn’t even know the d*** system was on the airplane — nor did anybody else,” adds another.
Responding to their concerns, Mike Sinnett, Boeing’s vice president, who was apparently unaware that the meeting was being recorded, said, “I don’t know that understanding this system would’ve changed the outcome on this. In a million miles, you’re going to maybe fly this airplane, maybe once you’re going to see this, ever. So we try not to overload the crews with information that’s unnecessary so they actually know the information we believe is important.”
When asked if Boeing would enact software changes to correct the flaw, the recording indicates that Boeing officials were hesitant to make any swift changes.
The fix enacted by the manufacturer was still being implemented when the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 occurred in March.
Offering his comments on behalf of AA’s pilots, Captain Daniel F. Carey, APA president, said, “American Airlines pilots have been pressing Boeing for answers because we owe it to our passengers and the 346 people who lost their lives to do everything we can to prevent another tragedy.”
“Boeing did not treat the 737 Max 8 situation like the emergency it was, and that’s why we took swift legal action demanding years of records related to the model and are working with lawmakers in Washington to ensure proper oversight of Boeing, the FAA, Airbus, American Airlines and all carriers,” he added.
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