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NTSB says assumptions of Boeing and the FAA were wrong

Seattle, Washington - The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said that Boeing may need to make modifications to 737 MAX cockpit alerts, emergency procedures, and pilot training.

On Sept. 26, the Board unveiled its recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Boeing for recertification of the 737MAX, which has been globally grounded after the second fatal crash of the type on March 10.

The crashes and the following statements from the whistleblowers during the investigations raised some doubts about the certification process of the aircraft.

According to the NTSB's findings, the pilots in both crashes did not react to the emergency as Boeing and the FAA assumed.

The Board Chairman Robert Sumwall said that there were inconsistencies between the assumptions of Boeing and FAA and the real-world experiences.

We want the FAA to ensure that Boeing takes a close look at all these different failure conditions that can activate MCAS and ensure that they have evaluated the pilots’ response to that,

Dana Schulze, director of the NTSB Office of Aviation Safety, told reporters during a press conference held on Sept. 27.

The NTSB wants that assessment to be completed before the aircraft is allowed to fly again.

Boeing’s 737 MAX simulator training did not include all potential cockpit alerts and indications that pilots might face when MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) is activated,
Schulze also added.

The NTSB wants Boeing to inform pilots more clearly and concisely about the procedures that will be applied when the system intervenes to correct the aircraft's Angle of Attack (AOA).

Boeing, on its side, said it is committed to working with the FAA in reviewing the NTSB's recommendations.

The safety board also said the FAA should develop strong tools and methods to verify the aircraft manufacturers' assumptions about the pilot actions in response to the emergencies.

The statements of the NTSB came a day after Boeing announced a new permanent safety committee to supervise the development, manufacturing, and operation of its aircraft and services.

It is not clear how the inputs from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board will affect the aircraft's return to the service.

Boeing hopes the 737 MAXs will return to the service in the fourth quarter.