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WSJ: Boeing Failed To Disclose Known Safety Alert Problem

WSJ: Boeing Failed To Disclose Known Safety Alert Problem

Aircraft maker Boeing Co (NYSE: BA) was aware of a problematic cockpit safety alert for a year and didn't share the information with airlines and government regulators, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing industry and government officials.

What Happened

One of Boeing's 737 Max jets crashed in Indonesia last October and a second jet crashed in early 2019 in Ethiopia. It was only after the second tragedy that Boeing "became more forthcoming" about the safety alert, WSJ said.

The company may have communicated the problem with different airlines months apart.

The safety feature, first used on earlier aircraft models, didn't function on the MAX jets, WSJ said. It's unclear whether the feature could have prevented one or both of the crashes if it functioned correctly, according to the newspaper.   

Boeing said its engineers were aware cockpit alerts weren't operating as intended due to a software mistake, WSJ said. The company's internal reviews noted the issue didn't "adversely impact airplane safety or operation." Yet senior executives weren't aware of the issue until the first fatal 737 Max crash in late 2018, according to the report. 

Why It's Important

Senior Federal Aviation Administration officials and airline representatives are now "raising questions" over how transparent Boeing is in communicating any problems with its cockpit warnings, WSJ said. This could represent a new challenge for Boeing in gaining the support from regulatory bodies across the world.

What's Next

Boeing shares were down 1.68 percent at $370.15 at the time of publication Monday. 

Related Links:

Boeing CEO Grilled By Shareholders On 737 Max Issues

American Airlines Cancels 737 MAX Flights Through August 19

Photo by Edward Russell/Wikimedia

Posted-In: 737 MAX aircraftGovernment News Regulations Travel Media General Best of Benzinga


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