Third Pilots' Union Raises Concern About Boeing 737 Max Jet

Boeing withheld information on plane that crashed in Indonesia

The Allied Pilots Association, the union that represents 15,000 professional pilots who fly for American Airlines, issued a bulletin saying the presence of the system was never included in the documentation that came with the plane.

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 most hyped features of the 737 MAX compared with its predecessor, the 737NG, are more fuel-efficient engines.

A pilot who asked to remain anonymous said manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus recommend only a few days of training for updated aircraft models such as the 737-MAX.

"We value our partnership with Boeing, but were unaware of some of the functionality of the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) installed on the MAX 8", an American Airlines spokesman said. "That's why we don't have the special training for that specific situation", Zwingli said.

When the angle of attack sensors - which detect how wind is meeting the wing - perceive incorrect readings the plane may think it is experiencing an aerodynamic stall, causing it to dive.

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Southwest Airlines, the biggest operator of the 737 MAX 8, replaced two malfunctioning flight-control sensors of the same type during the three weeks before the Lion Air craft, Wall Street Journal said, citing a summary of the USA carrier's maintenance record it reviewed.

Lion Air Flight 610 crashed shortly after taking off from Jakarta on October 29.

Indonesian investigators said on Monday the situation the crew of a doomed Lion Air jet was believed to have faced was not contained in the aircraft's flight manual. This comes after the deadly crash of one of those planes in Indonesia last month. Investigators can not say yet if that's what caused the crash, but Boeing immediately issued a safety bulletin about how to regain control if such a risky event occurs.

Pilots can stop the automated response by pressing two buttons if the system behaves unexpectedly, the FAA says.

Attorney Justin Green told CNN that the plane-maker may indeed be held liable, noting: "Boeing had provided its customers prior to the service bulletin, but did not adequately inform pilots of the potential problem and how to respond to it".

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