Pilots unions criticise Boeing for withholding safety information

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This comes following the devastating Lion Air crash that killed 189 people on October 29. Airplane maker Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued warnings over the 737 Max 8 plane models in the wake of the crash.

"It's pretty asinine for them to put a system on an airplane and not tell the pilots who are operating the airplane, especially when it deals with flight controls", Capt. Mike Michaelis, chairman of the safety committee for the Allied Pilots Association representing about 15,000 American Airlines pilots said.

"They (Boeing) didn't provide us all the info we rely on when we fly an aircraft", said Captain Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the group. The potential fault in the system is that it can push the plane's nose down "unexpectedly and so strongly" that pilots can't pull it back up - even when flying manually.

Indonesian investigators said on Monday a system created to deal with the accident scenario was not described in the flight manual. Still, the response from regulators and pilot representatives hints at a broader reckoning in the commercial aerospace industry over one of Boeing's marquee jets, the 737 MAX8.

Such a fix would be much less disruptive for airlines and Boeing than the three-month grounding that halted the planemaker's 787 Dreamliner flights in 2013.

Intan Syari's fiance, Dr. Rio Nanda Pratama, was among 189 people who were killed when the Boeing 737 crashed October 29 shortly after taking off from Jakarta.

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Last week, Boeing released a statement acknowledging that Indonesian officials had told the aircraft manufacturer about repeated errant data readings experienced by the plane. In the case of Lion Air flight 610, a sensor that measures which way the plane's nose is pointing apparently fed erroneous data into the system, something that could have sent the plane into a nose dive. Boeing hasn't yet officially commented on the reports. "This is important systems information that pilots should know about". Pilots speaking with the outlet claim they weren't properly trained on the safety feature, which automatically adjusts an aircraft's nose downward in the event of disturbance.

According to a report on the Market Watch, safety experts involved in the investigation said neither airline managers nor pilots were informed such a system was added to the latest variant of 737 models.

Boeing's first 737 MAX 9 jet at the company's delivery centre.

Body parts are still being recovered and searchers are continuing to hunt for the cockpit voice recorder.

"Because the Max is a derivative aircraft, we doubt that this is a difficult-to-correct technical issue as the battery fire early in the 787's life, appeared to be", Cowen analyst Cai von Rumohr said in a note.

"Thank you for giving me a sister who is so great, strong, smart, merciful and kind, just like you", Intan Syari wrote on a photo posted in tribute to her fiance Dr Rio Nanda Pratama.

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