Chairman and Chief Executive Boeing, Mr. Dennis Muilenburg has vigorously defended the company saying that the company no way hid a new flight control system called the Manoeuvring Characteristic Augmentation System (MACS) from pilots on its 737 Max airliner.
In an internal company message cited by the industry website The Air Current, Mr Muilenburg disputed that Boeing had “intentionally withheld” information from airlines on the stall recovery system which is has come in for scrutiny after the crash of a Lion Air 737 Max 8 on October 29 killing all 189 aboard.
“That is simply untrue,” Muilenburg told employees in the memo. “The relevant function [of MCAS] is described in the Flight Crew Operations Manual and we routinely engage with customers about how to operate our airplane safely”.
Several media outlets in the US had accused Boeing of hiding the system along with one pilot union, whereas another pilot union defended Boeing.
He said the aircraft had the ability to handle that and there was an existing procedure that was part of the training manual covering this sort of event.
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“So the bulletin that we put out last week … and over the weekend pointed to that existing flight procedure,’’ he said.
Asked about claims Boeing had decided against disclosing the MCAS because of concerns about inundating pilots with too much information, Mr. Muilenburg said: “Again, we ensure that we provide all of the information that’s needed to safely fly our airplanes.
“Again, this comes out of thousands of hours of testing and evaluating and simulating and providing the information that our pilots need to operate airplanes safely. We’ll continue to do that.’’
He said there were new systems on the aircraft that were designed to take advantage of its capability and provide control capability at high angle of attack conditions.
“Those systems operate properly and, again, in certain failure modes if there’s an inaccurate angle of attack sensor feeding information to the airplane, there’s a procedure to handle that.
“So again, as part of the investigation process, we’re going to make sure we fully understand that, we’re going to make sure we’re providing all the information necessary and the appropriate training.
“And (I) go back to the core value here that the airplane is safe, we know how to fly it safely and we’re very confident.’’
Mr Muilenburg said Boeing had participated fully in the investigation into Lion Air Flight 610, had provided technical assistance and would continue to do that until the investigation was complete.