Pilots complained about autopilot issues with Boeing jets involved in two deadly crashes

The nose of the aircraft may suddenly tilt during takeoff, pilots are not being properly trained in the autopilot system and the operations manual is "criminally insufficient". These are the complaints of US pilots in incident reports involving the 737 Max of Boeing Jetliner, the same model that was involved in two fatal accidents in recent months.

The reports, which were reported by multiple news sites this week, shed a harsh light on the Max 8 aircraft that has been at the center of a global ban. More than 40 countries have landed the plane after two fatal accidents, one in Indonesia and the most recent in Ethiopia. But the Federal Aviation Administration of the USA. UU It continues to allow the plane to fly, and the Trump administration is being criticized for putting Boeing's welfare above the safety of American passengers.

In one incident, an airline pilot reported that immediately after activating the Max 8's autopilot, the co-pilot shouted "DESCENDING", followed by an audio booth warning, "DON" T SINK! "IT DOES NOT FEEL!"

"I immediately disconnected the AP (autopilot) (it was ON when we set hands free, etc.) and resumed the ascent," the pilot writes in the report, which is available in a database compiled by NASA. "Now, in general, I assume it was my automation error, that is, the aircraft was trying to acquire a poorly ordered speed / no autotrottles, crossover restriction, etc., but frankly none of us could find an improper configuration error ( not to say there was not one) ".

Another pilot said it was "inconceivable that a manufacturer, the FAA and the airlines had pilots to fly a plane without adequate training, or even that they did not provide the available resources and sufficient documentation to understand the highly complex." systems that differentiate this aircraft from previous models. "

That same pilot added:" I wonder: what else do not I know? The Flight Manual is inadequate and almost criminally insufficient. All airlines operating the MAX must insist that Boeing incorporate ALL the systems in their manuals. "

Boeing is under intense scrutiny after two crashes involving Maximum 8, both resulting in the death of everyone on board, the Chicago-based company says it supports the safety of the Max 8, but said it would also begin To implement the "flight control software upgrade" for its aircraft, the update was in process before the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 last Sunday, in which all 157 people died on board.

Boeing said that it would update the flight control systems, the pilot screens, the operation manuals and the training of the Max 8 crew. The FAA is expected to order the changes by the end of April The software update was announced late Monday on the Boeing website and was triggered by the crash of a Lion Air plane in Indonesia last October, which killed 189 people.

  Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft face scrubbing Tinio renewed after a second accident in 5 months

Lion Air's investigation is ongoing, but it has focused on the system of prevention of blockades, apparent maintenance failures and the possible error of the pilot. The cause of the Ethiopian Airlines crash is unknown, but investigators have recovered the flight and data loggers.

Part of the planned upgrade includes the enhancement of the "Maneuvering feature increase system" of the Max 8, Boeing said. According to The Air Current the system was implemented to explain "some unique characteristics of aircraft handling".

This is because the Boeing engineers had to relocate the engines and extend the tip landing gear several inches to achieve better fuel efficiency and make all the parts fit together In doing so, they changed the handling of the jet in certain situations, The Airstream explains. The Maneuver Characteristics Increase System (MCAS) was installed to help pilots compensate for movements caused by realignment of the engines.

The MCAS pushes the nose of the jet down to avoid the risk of stalling during takeoff. It is activated automatically (ie, without the pilot input) when the angle of attack is high or when the wings are up.

But instead of relying on multiple sensors, Boeing engineers determined that the MCAS would need only one sensor: measure what is known as the angle of attack. This would be easier to manufacture and would align with Boeing's philosophy of keeping the pilot in the control center in the cockpit, according to The Wall Street Journal .

This system is now under scrutiny in the wake of twin deadly clashes. According to Boeing:

A law of pitch increase control (MCAS) was implemented in the 737 MAX to improve the handling characteristics of the aircraft and decrease the inclination tendency at high angles of attack. It underwent flight tests as part of the certification process before the aircraft entered service. MCAS does not control the plane in normal flight; improves the behavior of the airplane in a non-normal part of the operational envelope.

One pilot reported feeling confused by the anti-lock mechanism. "We discussed the game at length and checked my automation configuration and flight profile in my mind, but I can not think of any reason why the aircraft would tilt so aggressively," the pilot wrote in an incident report.

Meanwhile, lawmakers have called on the Trump administration to follow the example of other nations to land the Max 8 plane until the cause of Sunday's accident in Ethiopia can be determined. USA UU It is practically alone by allowing the Max 8 to fly into its airspace, after aviation regulators in Europe, Canada and China have grounded the plane until the investigators know more about the accidents. But the FAA refused to act; It was reported that President Trump consulted with the CEO of Boeing this week.

On Wednesday, an ethics complaint was filed against interim Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, for "promoting Boeing within the scope of his official duties." The complaint, filed by Citizens for Accountability and Ethics in Washington, cites news reports in which Shanahan urged Boeing in Pentagon discussions about government contracts, "saying that Boeing would have performed better than its competitor Lockheed Martin if he had been awarded a DOD fighter plane contract. "

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