Pilots say Boeing didn't disclose jet's new control feature

A Boeing 737 MAX airplane being built for Shenzhen Airlines is worked on next to the runway at the Renton Municipal Airport

The US aviation regulator has launched a high-priority probe of the safety analyses performed over the years by Boeing Co, following the crash of a Lion Air jet in Indonesia last month, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Some updated models of the Boeing 737-like Flight 610-had automated stall prevention.

A stall is a unsafe situation where the lift from an aircraft's wings no longer is enough to counter the weight of the plane, causing it to lose control and fall. But the new system in the 737 uses data from the aircraft's AOA and airspeed sensors to proactively counter pilot error, adjusting the aircraft's controls to push the nose down if the sensors indicate the aircraft could stall.

Even though this problem was - according to investigators - not covered in the operating manual, pilots did have access to a checklist created to turn off errant systems when the plane started nosing downwards at the wrong time, said Soejono, a Lion Air instructor who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

"We have no idea how similar that is to the previous EFS module and we're trying to connect the differences and similarities to the old system and we do not have enough information to yet, so that our pilots can be trained up and be able to recognise while they're actually flying the aircraft", Tajer said.

The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System in limited instances will lower the nose of the 737 Max if the airplane is close to an aerodynamic stall even if pilots are manually operating controls.

The bulletin included new details on how to stop a runaway series of events from leading to a crash, pilots say.

Weaks said he is satisfied that "we have been given, finally, the correct information".

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As word of the warnings spread, some pilots said this was the first they heard about the MCAS system and the potential control issue.

The airline said the Boeing 777-300 was at the gate and ready for boarding when the horizontal stabiliser on its tail was clipped by another aircraft being towed causing significant damage.

"It's an existing procedure, so the bulletin that we put out again last week and over the weekend pointed to that existing flight procedure", Muilenburg told Fox's Maria Bartiromo. Meanwhile, Soerjanto Tjahjono, the head of Indonesla's National Transportation Safety Committee, said his country's regulators would tighten requirements for pilot training.

On Monday, the US Federal Aviation Administration issued a follow-up directive confirming that the manual for the Max 8 needed to be updated to address this rare but unsafe sequence of events.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Tuesday said the company plans to continue to "fully cooperate" in the investigation into last month's fatal Lion Air Crash in Indonesia.

The brand new Boeing 737 went down just minutes after take-off from Jakarta on Monday, killing all 189 people on board.

Are 200+ new Boeing 737s plagued with glitch that led to crash in Indonesia? They are also questioning whether the FAA and Boeing adequately analyzed potential hazards if the systems malfunction and send faulty data to the plane's computers, according to the newspaper.

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