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The Boeing 737 MAX is still flying—despite mounting evidence it is unsafe.
Our latest Lioness story.
Investigation reports on the Boeing 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019 indicate both brand-new planes had preexisting defects and production quality issues. The U.S. government’s egregious failure to acknowledge this key fact puts countless more passengers at risk.
By Ed Pierson
Ask almost anyone what caused two Boeing 737 MAX planes to crash moments after takeoff in 2018 and 2019, and they’ll likely say what has been repeatedly parroted by the media and U.S. government agencies: a software malfunction. This theory, expertly peddled by Boeing’s public relations army, is a narrative that regulators have been content to support. But in reality, a wealth of evidence shows this malfunction was only partly to blame.
There is no doubt that flawed software was a contributing factor in these tragedies. But it is now well documented that the implicated Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) software that repeatedly pitched the planes downward was triggered in both crashes by the failure of an Angle of Attack (AOA) sensor—a three-pound component of the 737 MAX’s highly interconnected flight control system.
To close the case after focusing almost solely on the software malfunction is to completely ignore a question that virtually screams from the Indonesian and Ethiopian governments’ reports on the accidents: Why did the AOA sensor fail in each of these airplanes?
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