Boeing 737 MAX

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More Bad News for Boeing
Potential plaintiffs have until early June to join the class action.
By Rob Mark April 11, 2019


Boeing 737 Max

The class action is the direct result of the two recent 737 MAX accidents.
Courtesy Boeing


The people at Boeing probably expected more bad news and today they got some when Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a New York-based law firm filed a class action suit in the Northern District of Illinois against Boeing. The suit was filed on behalf of people who purchased, “securities of Boeing, Inc. ("Boeing" or the "Company") (NYSE: BA) during the period of January 8, 2019 through March 21, 2019.”

In light of the Lion Air accident last October and the Ethiopian Airlines crashlast month, the complaint alleges that Boeing violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Plaintiffs seek to recover damages on behalf of all Class members who invested in Boeing securities during the class period.

Plaintiffs allege that Defendants made misrepresentations about the safety of the Company's 737 Max airplanes during the class period.

Specifically, Defendants allegedly concealed that the 737 Max airplanes lacked safety features which Boeing sold as "optional" add-ons; that most airlines did not purchase these safety "options"; and that the FAA handed oversight and certification of one of Boeing's safety systems to Boeing, which had a clear conflict of interest as it was rushing the 737 Max to market.

No details were made available about how many people may be involved in this class action although information on the suit said plaintiffs, “must meet certain requirements set forth in the applicable law and file appropriate papers no later than June 10, 2019.”

More Bad News for Boeing
 

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FAA meets with Airlines & Pilots to discuss B737 MAX
  • 12 APRIL, 2019
  • SOURCE: FLIGHT DASHBOARD
  • BY: JON HEMMERDINGER
  • BOSTON
The Federal Aviation Administration briefed airline and pilot representatives on 12 April to review the state of the 737 Max grounding – a meeting sources say comes amid geopolitically-charged questions about pilot training and aircraft certification.

The FAA called the 3h meeting in Washington, DC to review three items: preliminary reports into two 737 Max crashes, Boeing’s anticipated update to the 737 Max’s flight control software and pilot training, says the agency.

The meeting also gave FAA acting administrator Dan Elwell opportunity to “hear from the participants for a fuller understanding of the safety issues presented by the Boeing 737 Max”.

Attendees included representatives from three US airlines and their unions. United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and American Airlinesoperated 737 Max prior to last month’s grounding.

“Elwell said that he wanted to know what operators and pilots of the 737 Max think as the agency evaluates what needs to be done before the FAA makes a decision to return the aircraft to service,” the FAA says. “Elwell said that the participants’ operational perspective is critical input as the agency welcomes scrutiny on how it can do better.”

Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The meeting left some sources with the impression that FAA officials feel optimistic about actions being taken by Boeing.

The discussions raised questions about pilot training, the actions of the pilots in the cockpit of the Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max that crashed in March, and the regulatory system that certified the type’s manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system (MCAS), say sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

An erroneous MCAS activation has been identified as a contributing factor to both the October 2018 Lion Air and March Ethiopian 737 Max crashes.

“Geopolitical issues continue in their complexity and they will intertwine with everything from crew training and experience to the pilot supply/demand equation, to codeshare agreements and subsidies, and much more,” Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) president Jon Weaks says in a letter distributed to union members immediately after the meeting.

“The FAA flight safety board is continuing to evaluate Boeing's proposed software changes, and the FAA, as well as SWAPA, are still waiting on a final proposed training product from Boeing,” says Weaks’ letter. “Boeing will, and should, continue to face scrutiny of the ill-designed MCAS and initial non-disclosure of the new flight control logic.”

Weaks’ letter also notes the preliminary report into ET302 raises questions about, “Ethiopian procedures regarding stick shaker, unreliable airspeed procedures, auto-throttle procedures, flight mode selection training, autopilot engagement and use procedures, when the recommended runaway stabiliser and MCAS procedures were followed, and airspeed overspeed recognition and procedures”.

His letter also touches on the FAA’s certification process, which involves delegating some work to designated employees at manufacturers through a process called “organisation designation authorisation”.

With the FAA short on resources, that process “may be too ingrained to reverse,” Weaks writes.

The Air Line Pilots Association, which represents United’s pilots, also confirms its attendance but had not yet prepared a statement.
The Allied Pilots Association, which represents American’s crews, could not immediately be reached

FAA meets with airlines and pilots to discuss 737 Max
 

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APRIL 17, 2019
Boeing panel: Software fix for 737 Max 'suitable,' no re-training needed
By Nicholas Sakelaris


The report said a panel of expert pilots have found the software update addresses needed changes. File Photo by Andy Rain/EPA-EFE

April 17 (UPI) -- The Boeing 737 Max 8 fleet should re-enter service with new software and without new simulator training for pilots, a Federal Aviation Administration board advised in a new report.

A 57-page draft report by the Flight Standardization Board Tuesday said engineers are still working on a software update for the plane, which has been grounded worldwide since shortly after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet last month. The panel is comprised of expert pilots who have reviewed the software fix.

More than 300 people died in two crashes involving the Max 8 since October, which led Boeing to develop a software fix for the plane's automated flight system. Investigators believe anti-stall software forced the planes into a dive and that pilots were not trained for that scenario.
So far, the board determined, the software update addresses the needed changes.

"In March 2019, the FSB conducted an evaluation of the modified Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System for training and checking differences determination. The system enhancement is incorporated on all MAX series aircraft. The MCAS system was found to be operationally suitable," the panel said.

Boeing has completed 96 flights totaling more than 159 hours of air time with the new software fix for the Max fleet. The update could be finished by the end of the month, at the earliest. The FAA would then have to sign off on the fix. With the current system, the plane's anti-stall system takes over if there's a risk of a stall, forcing it into a steep dive that the pilots can't override. The new software wouldn't go into as steep a dive and would alert pilots when there's a malfunction.

The report said new pilots should receive a special emphasis on the MCAS system in training, but existing pilots won't need re-training in the flight simulator -- a costly and time-consuming endeavor. No U.S. carrier has a specific simulator for the Max series aircraft.

"MCAS ground training must address system description, functionality, associated failure conditions and flight crew alerting," the report said.
The software fix is the first of several steps in getting the Max planes back into service. Regulators in other countries also have to sign off on the fixes for the planes to fly in their airspace. There's also the issue of public acceptance, as the crashes have influenced safety perception about the plane.

Boeing shares climbed 2.5 percent after the report was issued Tuesday.

United, Southwest and American airlines -- the only U.S. airlines that fly Boeing's Max 737 series -- have grounded flights through the summer.

Boeing panel: Software fix for 737 Max 'suitable,' no re-training needed
 

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