Boeing cutting 737 MAX production in wake of 2 deadly crashes

Boeing cutting 737 MAX production in wake of 2 deadly crashes

The announcement comes just a day after a preliminary report identified Boeing's new flight control software as a major factor in the deadly Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes.

"It appears the flight crew reactivated electric trim", former Boeing engineer Peter Lemme said.

In all, 346 people died in the crashes, and Boeing faces a growing number of lawsuits filed by families of the victims.

He also assured that when the MAX returns to the skies with the software changes to the MCAS function, it would be among the safest airplanes ever to fly.

The 737 MAX is banned from flying in most countries across the world following the Ethiopia crash that killed all 157 people on board.

Muilenburg also said that Boeing will temporarily reduce the production rate of its 737 MAX airplanes by nearly 20 percent to focus on delivering a promised software fix after two deadly crashes involving the aircraft model.

Shortly after the Lion Air crash past year, Boeing issued a bulletin reminding operators of emergency guidelines to override the anti-stall system, amid indications it had received erroneous information from Angle of Attack sensors during that disaster.

"These tragedies continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and minds, and we extend our sympathies to the loved ones of the passengers and crew on board Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302", he revealed.

Thursday's preliminary report found that both pilots performed all the procedures recommended by Boeing on the March 10 flight but still could not control the jet.


Boeing said the problem, which it described as a "relatively minor issue" that was already solved, had become apparent during work on overhauling the controversial anti-stalling system MCAS, but was not directly connected with it. He expected the fix to be certified and implemented throughout the 737 MAX fleet in the weeks ahead.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which has come under fire over the way it made a decision to certify the plane and its so-called MCAS anti-stall software, cautioned the investigation had not yet concluded.

Manufacturers avoid halting and then resuming production as this disrupts supply chains and can cause industrial snags.

The plane had faulty "angle of attack" sensor readings, its nose was pushed down automatically, and the crew lost control despite following recommended instructions, it said.

"We have the responsibility to eliminate this risk, and we know how to do it", Muilenburg wrote.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said preliminary report indicated the plane had a problem with the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, commonly known as MCAS, which was activated in response to erroneous angle of attack information. "We own it, and we know how to do it".

"Those should literally follow each other", said one USA -based expert, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

But if the aircraft is going too fast, those electronic switches may not be effective, European regulators said in a 2016 memo. But amid a chorus of confusing alarms, they also made a critical oversight as they struggled for control, according to three pilots with experience in accident investigations: They left the engines set almost to maximum.

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