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3 months ago

News Source: cnn.com
Audio Reveals Pilots Angrily Confronting Boeing About 737 Max Feature Before Second Deadly Crash
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Audio Reveals Pilots Angrily Confronting Boeing About 737 Max Feature Before 2nd Deadly Crash

(CNN)Just months before a second deadly crash of a Boeing 737 Max airplane, American Airlines pilots angrily confronted a Boeing official about a computerized anti-stall system that preliminary reports have now implicated in both deadly wrecks, audio obtained by CBS News reveals.

FAA officials in hot seat as world awaits Boeing 737 Max fix The meeting between the pilots and Boeing happened in November -- just weeks after an October crash of a Lion Air 737 Max into the Java Sea, and four months before a 737 Max operated by Ethiopian Air crashed in Ethiopia. On the audio, a Boeing official is heard telling pilots that software changes were coming, perhaps in as little as six weeks, but that the company didn't want to hurry the process. The pilots indicated they weren't aware of the 737 Max's computerized stability program -- the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS. "We flat out deserve to know what is on our airplanes," a pilot is heard saying. "I don't disagree," the unidentified Boeing official answers. "These guys didn't even know the damn system was on the airplane," a pilot says, seemingly referring to the Lion Air pilots. "Nor did anybody else." "I don't know that understanding this system would have changed the outcome of this," the Boeing official says. "In a million miles you're going to maybe fly this airplane, and maybe once you're going to see this ever." The Dallas Morning News and the New York Times reported on the November 27 meeting between American Airlines pilots and Boeing earlier this week, citing recordings of the meeting. The papers reported the pilots were frustrated that Boeing didn't disclose the presence of the MCAS system. Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the audio from CNN. Boeing's 737 Max 8 and 9 planes were grounded worldwide after the Ethiopian Air crash in March. Between the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes, 346 people were killed. Preliminary reports of the crashes implicate the MCAS and faulty sensor readings Preliminary reports on both crashes have implicated a flight-control system that Boeing designed to operate in the background, making the 737 Max fly like earlier versions of the workhorse jetliner. Maintaining enough similarities between the planes avoided costly pilot training programs, a fact Boeing touted as a selling point.

CNN's Patricia DiCarlo, Emanuella Grinberg and Ross Levitt contributed to this report.