Boeing cancelled a phone call with airlines to discuss the Lion Air 737 MAX 8 crash earlier Tuesday morning. The aircraft crashed in the Java Sea on October 29th, killing all 189 people on board. It is the first major accident involving the latest version of the 737 MAX.
The conference call intended to inform and discuss current operations with Boeing field queries from airlines worldwide flying the Max, instead of having multiple individual conversations on the same points.
737 MAX Safety
Controversy over the plane’s safety is debated all over the world. The National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT), which is investigating the Lion Air crash, found that the plane had experienced a fault from one of its Angle of Attack (AOA) sensors. It is suspected to be the result of the automated flight control feature, which had not been incorporated in previous models. That would lower the jet’s nose without any input from pilots.
The FAA said, "This condition, if not addressed, could cause the flight crew to have difficulty controlling the airplane and lead to excessive nose-down attitude, significant altitude loss and possible impact with terrain."
A faulty sensor for the “angle of attack” is a piece of data necessary to help the aircraft fly at the right angle to the currents of air and prevent a stall.
Boeing later issued a bulletin to notify pilots about the possible false input from the sensors and how to respond to it. This has only fueled the controversy surrounding the aircraft, with pilot unions arguing that they should have been notified earlier.
A spokesperson for Boeing said in a statement that it "has been been - and continues to engage with" customers, and continues to schedule meetings to share information.
Boeing’s stock has dropped 11 percent since the incident.
In the United States, 737 MAX 8 planes are in service with 26 at Southwest Airlines, 16 at American Airlines and seven MAX 9 planes at United Airlines. Those airlines have reviewed the bulletin and are continuing with no disruption to their schedules.