System linked to crashed Lion Air flight never disclosed, pilots say

One of the airlines pilot died on board a flight in the US yesterday. — Reuters pic

The spokesman for American Airlines assured the public that all company pilots will be properly trained regarding the use of the system. Boeing and USA aviation regulators are considering whether to add a software fix to the 737 MAX.

The operations director at Lion Air, the carrier that crashed last month, also expressed frustration in an interview Thursday with what he called a lack of information on that safety feature.

"The bottom line here is the 737 Max is safe", Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg said earlier this week on Fox Business Network.

That news stunned pilot unions and other experts who said they had no idea an automatic stall-prevention system was even added to the new 737 model, and never knew about the potentially fatal problem.

Boeing announced this feature of the control system of the planes of the 737 Max about a week after the accident in Indonesia, notes the WSJ.

Lion Air says it followed a training regime approved by US and European regulators.

Boeing and USA aviation authorities have issued global safety warnings to airlines following the October 29 crash that killed all 189 people on board.

The stall-prevention system's overreaction can be triggered by faulty sensors that are supposed to tell the plane's systems at what angle the plane is flying. American Airlines vowed to keep pilots abreast of all updates pertaining to the matter.

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We are deeply saddened by the loss of Lion Air Flight JT 610.

The company has 16 Max 8 jets in its current fleet and said it had not experienced the issue that could cause planes to plunge.

It was not immediately clear if the issue in question was directly related to what happened in Indonesia, but Boeing said it is fully cooperating with the investigation.

"There appears to be a significant information gap, and we want to ensure that pilots operating these aircraft have all of the information they need to do so safely", wrote Captain Tim Canoll, ALPA's president.

However, Brazil's regulator told Reuters that it had required specific training for pilots on the anti-stall system. Safety remains its top priority, it said.

Pratama took the doomed Lion Air JT 610 flight to fly back to Pangkalpinang after attending a conference in Jakarta.

Pilots could have stopped the plane from acting uncontrollably by pressing two buttons.

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