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The FAA has tentatively approved multiple design changes to prevent such an accident in the future and the plane could be certified to resume operations in the fall.
The House report identifies numerous instances in which it alleges the company should have known that MCAS was potentially dangerous.
For example, a Boeing test pilot during the early development of the plane in 2012 took more than 10 seconds to respond to an erroneous MCAS activation, a condition the pilot concluded could be “catastrophic,” the report said.
“The reaction time was long,” one Boeing employee told another in an email on Nov. 1, 2012, which was viewed by Bloomberg. The unidentified employee asked whether the rating of the system’s risks should be raised, which may have prompted a more thorough safety review.
Those concerns “were not properly addressed” and the company “did not inform the FAA,” the report said.
Boeing ultimately concluded that flight crews would react far swifter to an MCAS failure, typically within four seconds.
The report also said the responses by Boeing and the FAA to the first accident — warnings to pilots issued in early November 2018 — weren’t adequate to prevent a second crash.
“Both Boeing and the FAA gambled with the public’s safety in the aftermath of the Lion Air crash, resulting in the death of 157 more individuals on Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, less than five months later,” the report said.
The guidance on how to avoid an accident during an MCAS failure detailed the symptoms pilots would see and reminded crews how to shut it off. The committee criticized Boeing and the FAA for not mentioning the system’s name.