New questions over Boeing 737 model that crashed in Indonesia

A Boeing 737 MAX airplane being built for Shenzhen Airlines is worked on next to the runway at the Renton Municipal Airport

Crucial details omitted by Boeing in aircraft manual may have prevented deadly Lion Air crash

The US company has been relying on profit reaped from faster output of the narrow-body jet to ease financial strain from introducing its newest wide-body aircraft, the 777X. "The bottom line here is the 737 MAX is safe and safety is a core value for us... we ensure that airplanes are safe". It was added to the MAX models partly because the aircraft has heavier engines than the previous 737 NG models and the airplane's center of gravity is biased more forward.

Boeing "also trails on deliveries of its high-margin MAX aircraft, which affect profit disproportionately, with the plane accounting for 37% of the total vs. guidance of 40-45%", Ferguson says.

That aircraft feature is the automated stall-prevention system found on Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 models, the Journal reported, citing industry sources including safety experts, aviation regulators and airline pilots.

United is one of three US airlines that fly the Max, Boeing's newest model. "This is the first description you, as 737 pilots, have seen", the Allied Pilots Association dispatch said.

Feinstein said American updated its pilot manuals on Friday.

Two pilots' unions in the USA have said that the potential risks of a particular feature on the 737 MAX were not specified to them during training. He said Boeing bulletins to airlines and pilots "point them back to existing flight procedures" to handle the kind of sensor problem suspected in last month's crash.

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"We have been very engaged with the investigative authorities throughout in providing all of the information necessary to make sure we do a full assessment of the situation", Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said during an exclusive interview with Maria Bartiromo.

The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System in limited instances will lower the nose of the 737 Max if the airplane is close to an aerodynamic stall even if pilots are manually operating controls.

In a parallel move, the newspaper quoted an unnamed high-profile Boeing representative as saying that the company had made a decision to leave out some details about the new models of aircraft so as to not feed pilots with excessive information. It essentially tricked the system into ordering a sharp dive.

Boeing declined to comment about a software update but said it was taking "every measure" to fully understand all aspects of the incident and working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved. Incorrect data readings can trigger the MCAS system to force the plane into a nose-dive, even if the plane is not on autopilot.

Once in Jakarta, a Lion Air technician checked the plane again and gave it the green light to fly on its final flight, from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang. "But the pilots don't know this and are not trained on this". Southwest is the largest operator of the 737 Max and has the most on order with 257 of the jets yet to be delivered.

"There are new systems on the airplanes that are created to take advantage of the capabilities of the airplane and provide control capability and high angle-of-attack conditions and those systems operate properly".

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