“We flat out deserve to know what is on our airplanes,” American Airline pilots argued with Boeing officials regarding MCAS.
An audio obtained by CBS news, of a meeting between AA pilots and Boeing in November 2018, less than a month after the first Max crashed, and four months before the second crash.
In a heated meeting, pilots were angry that MCAS system was not disclosed to them until after the first crash.
“These guys didn’t even know the damn system was on the airplane — nor did anybody else,” one pilot said.
Boeing vice president Mike Sinnett, who does not appear to know he was being recorded, claimed what happened to Lion Air was once-in-a-lifetime type scenario.
“I don’t know that understanding this system would’ve changed the outcome on this. In a million miles, you’re going to maybe fly this airplane, maybe once you’re going to see this, ever. So we try not to overload the crews with information that’s unnecessary so they actually know the information we believe is important,” the Sinnett said.
The pilots in the room were not satisfied with that answer. “We’re the last line of defense to being in that smoking hole. And we need the knowledge,” one pilot said.
Boeing told the pilots it would make software changes, perhaps in as little as six weeks, but didn’t want to hurry it.
“We want to make sure we’re fixing the right things,” the official said. “That’s the important thing. To make sure we’re fixing the right things. We don’t want to rush and do a crappy job of fixing the right things, and we also don’t want to fix the wrong things.”
That fix was still in development when the second 737 Max crashed in March, leading to the worldwide grounding of the plane. The existence of the audio was first reported by the Dallas Morning News.