moeman

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  1. https://www.theverge.com/tldr/2019/7/11/20690062/japanese-hotel-flight-simulator-boeing-737-800-cockpit?fbclid=IwAR0OtWwxMmMuSfonrqiRfJNVRPVItqcrzTaoDfCUWQ_l0HAtGskUqseys5s A Japanese hotel has built a lifesize flight simulator into one of its rooms Sleep just feet away from a replica Boeing 737-800 cockpit By Jon Porter@JonPorty Jul 11, 2019, 6:38am EDT It can be tough getting to sleep sometimes. Some people like to have a window open to keep the room cool, while others use the sound of white noise to drown out outside distractions. One Japanese hotel has a slightly different idea about what will help its patrons sleep: a full-sized flight simulator installed in one of its rooms based on a Boeing 737-800 cockpit. In fairness to the Haneda Excel Hotel Tokyu, it sounds like the flight simulator is meant to be enjoyed by its patrons while they’re awake, rather than when they’re sleeping. Kotaku reports that an overnight stay in the room will cost you 25,300 yen (around $233), or else you can book yourself a 90-minute lesson with a flight instructor for 30,000 yen (around $277). The hotel itself is also connected to Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport, as if you needed any more airplane exposure during your visit. The cockpit’s design is based on a Boeing 737-800. That’s actually a lot cheaper, not to mention a lot cooler, than Alienware’s decadent gaming hotel room that it built in the Hilton Panama last year. Although the room came equipped with a fairly top of the line gaming machine for its time which featured a Core i7-7800 CPU and an Nvidia GTX 1800 Ti graphics card plugged into a 65-inch OLED TV, the room was priced at a more expensive $349 a night. Haneda Excel Hotel Tokyu’s page for the room doesn’t mention what software the flight simulator is running on, but its announcement comes just after Microsoft announced the first new entry in its Flight Simulator series in over half a decade.
  2. https://globalnews.ca/news/5462918/swoop-airlines-jet-grounded-hamilton/
  3. From their previous press release: " MONTREAL, June 25, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Group Mach Inc. (“Mach”) is pleased to announce its non-binding agreement with the Government of Quebec in connection with Mach’s formal proposal to acquire all issued and outstanding voting shares (the “Shares”) of Transat A.T. Inc. (TSX: TRZ) (“Transat” or the “Company”) at a price of $14.00 cash per Share to the attention of the Board of Directors of Transat as announced in Mach’s press release of June 14, 2019 (the “Proposal”). As such, Mach has deposited today an amended version of its Proposal with the Board of Directors of Transat by, in particular, removing conditions related to financing from the Government of Quebec ..." In it they announced a non-binding agreement with the Gov't of Quebec while removing the financing condition from the Gov't of Quebec. Did that mean that they had a financing agreement in place so the condition was removed? If so, perhaps TS didn't wish to be beholden to the Gov't?
  4. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-quebecs-groupe-mach-withdraws-14-a-share-bid-for-transat/ Group Mach said Wednesday it is withdrawing its bid for Transat A.T., stating the tour operator chose to ignore its proposal even though it featured a higher price than Air Canada’s offer. Alfred Buggé, head of mergers and acquisitions at Group Mach, said Transat was well aware of the Quebec developer’s $14-per-share offer last week but forged ahead with an Air Canada takeover agreement priced at $13 per share. “We have no intention of submitting a superior proposal as defined in the definitive agreement between the two companies,” Bugge told The Canadian Press. “Transat did not even take the time to communicate with us. We had no acknowledgment, no phone call, zero,” he said. “Why would we submit a higher proposal again? It would be ridiculous.” Under the agreement, Transat shareholders will convene by Aug. 26 to vote on the Air Canada deal, valued at $520 million. Until then Transat can accept competing offers of at least $14 per share on top of a $15-million break fee for Air Canada, which could opt to match the superior bid. The current deal faces legal and regulatory scrutiny along with resistance from Transat shareholders Letko, Brosseau and Associates and PenderFund Capital Management, which jointly own a 22.06 per cent stake. The withdrawal may concern some major shareholders who say Air Canada’s successful bid is too low and want more offers on the table. “We believe Air Canada’s offer doesn’t reflect the value of Air Transat,” PenderFund portfolio manager Amar Pandya said in an e-mail last week. Montreal-based FNC Capital and Quebecor Inc. chief executive Pierre Karl Peladeau have previously expressed interest in Transat. “We would encourage those interested parties to make a formal offer to the board of directors,” Pandya said. Transat declined to comment on whether the tour operator has received other proposals since last week. Transat and Air Canada announced the transaction last Thursday, which will preserve the Transat and Air Transat brands and keep the head office and key functions in Montreal. Transat shares dropped 95 cents or more than seven per cent to $12.54 in mid-afternoon trading Wednesday.
  5. No scrape marks leading up to them, so I suspect they're melted in.
  6. That, or let's just call a spade a spade and admit that it's a completely different beast than the previous versions of the 737, then take your medicine, Boeing.
  7. Another thought is that the removal of the MAX from fleets has the existing aircraft running harder than ever. You can only do that for so long before things start to break.
  8. https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/federal-prosecutors-issue-subpoena-for-boeing-787-dreamliner-records/ DOJ probe expands beyond Boeing 737 MAX, includes 787 Dreamliner Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed records from Boeing relating to the production of the 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina, where there have been allegations of shoddy work, according to two sources familiar with the investigation. The subpoena was issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the sources said. DOJ is also conducting a criminal investigation into the certification and design of the 737 MAX after two deadly crashes of that jetliner. The 787 subpoena significantly widens the scope of the DOJ’s scrutiny of safety issues at Boeing. The two sources who revealed the subpoena spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of the inquiries. A third source said a handful of subpoenas were issued in early June to individual employees at Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner production plant in North Charleston, South Carolina. DOJ spokesman Peter Carr, in Washington, D.C., declined to comment Friday. A Boeing spokesman said, “We don’t comment on legal matters.” It wasn’t clear if the subpoena served on the company was issued by the same prosecutors overseeing the 737 MAX investigation. But the third source, also speaking on condition of anonymity because of the confidentiality of the inquiries, said the subpoenas to employees at the South Carolina plant came from the “same group” of prosecutors involved in the 737 MAX investigation, including DOJ trial attorneys Cory Jacobs and Carol Sipperly in the Fraud Section. Boeing divides its Dreamliner production between the South Carolina assembly plant, which rolled out its first plane in 2012, and the sprawling Everett facility where it has built jets for decades. The 737 MAX is built in Renton. Federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., have been looking into the development of the 737 MAX, including a new flight-safety control system known as MCAS, after one crash on Oct. 29 off Indonesia and another in Ethiopia on March 10. Those disasters killed 346 people and led to worldwide grounding of the plane. The grand-jury investigation into the MAX has been cloaked in secrecy, but some of the Justice Department’s activities have become known as prosecutors issued subpoenas for documents. The Department of Transportation’s Inspector General and the FBI are working with the DOJ. A Seattle Times story in March detailed how Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) managers pushed its engineers to delegate more of the certification process for the 737 MAX to Boeing itself. The Times story also detailed flaws in an original safety analysis that Boeing delivered to the FAA. Allegations relating to the 787 Dreamliner have centered on shoddy work and cutting corners at the company’s South Carolina plant. While there are differences in the 737 and 787 matters, prosecutors are likely looking into whether broad cultural problems run throughout the company, according to the third source and a person in South Carolina, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter. That could include pressure to sign off on faulty work to avoid delays in delivering planes to customers, the source said. The New York Times reported in April that the North Charleston plant has been plagued by production issues and weak oversight that threatened to compromise safety. Production ran years behind schedule, due to manufacturing and supplier problems, before the plane entered service in 2011. The newspaper, citing a review of hundreds of pages of internal emails, corporate documents and federal records, as well as interviews with current and former employees, described a culture that often valued production speed over quality. Confronting manufacturing delays at the plant, Boeing pushed its workforce to quickly turn out Dreamliners, at times ignoring issues raised by employees, the newspaper reported. The Dreamliner, introduced in 2007 and billed as Boeing’s most important new plane in a generation, featured lightweight carbon-fiber fuselage and advanced technology. Initially assembled just in Everett, it was popular with airlines, prompting Boeing to break ground on a second Dreamliner plant in 2009 in South Carolina, which has the lowest percentage of union members of any state in the country. Last year the Everett plant produced 55% of the 145 Dreamliners that Boeing delivered, while the South Carolina factory delivered the rest. The biggest 787, the -10 model, is assembled only in South Carolina. The entire fleet was grounded in January 2013 after two battery-overheating incidents: a battery fire on an empty 787 parked at the gate at Boston airport, then a smoldering battery on a flight in Japan that forced an emergency landing. The FAA lifted the grounding in April 2013 after Boeing modified the jets with beefed-up batteries, containment boxes and venting tubes. In the 737 MAX investigation, prosecutors appear to be getting information from someone with inside knowledge of the plane’s development based on the questions they are asking, the third source said.
  9. https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/26/politics/boeing-737-max-flaw/index.html (CNN)A new flaw has been discovered in the computer system for the Boeing 737 Max that could push the plane downward, according to two sources familiar with the testing, an issue that is expected to further delay the aircraft's return to service. A series of simulator flights to test new software developed by Boeing revealed the flaw, according to one of the sources. 737 Max pilot sues Boeing for career damage, 'severe emotional and mental stress' The latest versions of Boeing's popular jet were grounded in March after two crashes -- Lion Air flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 -- that killed 346 people. While the crashes remain under investigation, preliminary reports showed that a new stabilization system pushed both planes into steep nosedives from which the pilots could not recover. The issue is known in aviation vernacular as runaway stabilizer trim. Boeing announced it could break the chain of events that led to both crashes by developing a software fix that would limit the potency of that stabilization system. In simulator tests, government pilots discovered that a microprocessor failure could push the nose of the plane toward the ground. It is not known whether the microprocessor played a role in either crash. When testing the potential failure of the microprocessor in the simulators, "it was difficult for the test pilots to recover in a matter of seconds," one of the sources said. "And if you can't recover in a matter of seconds, that's an unreasonable risk." This is the flight simulator and manual used to train pilots of doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight Boeing engineers are now trying to address the issue, which has led to another delay in recertifying the 737 Max. "The safety of our airplanes is Boeing's highest priority. We are working closely with the FAA to safely return the MAX to service," Boeing said in a statement. The sources say Boeing engineers are trying to determine if the microprocessor issue can be fixed by reprogramming software or if replacing the physical microprocessors on each 737 Max aircraft may be required. An FAA spokesperson would not confirm the specific issue, but told CNN that "the FAA's process is designed to discover and highlight potential risks. The FAA recently found a potential risk that Boeing is required to mitigate." Pilot training also undergoing update In preparation for the airplane's return to service, Boeing and the FAA are also working out details of additional training for 737 MAX pilots, which could include additional simulator time, the sources said. Boeing and the FAA are working with the European, Brazilian and Canadian civil aviation authorities. Boeing has proposed computer-based training which could be completed quickly and on an iPad. Pilots unions, as well as "Miracle on the Hudson" hero Chelsey Sullenberger, have said such training cannot be adequately experienced on an iPad. The FAA is still actively considering whether more time consuming and expensive simulator training will be required, according to both sources. Gregory Martin, an FAA spokesman, said Wednesday the regulator "is following a thorough process, not a prescribed timeline, for returning the Boeing 737 Max to passenger service." "The FAA will lift the aircraft's prohibition order when we deem it is safe to do so," the spokesman said. "We continue to evaluate Boeing's software modification and we are still developing necessary training requirements."
  10. https://aviationweek.com/commercial-aviation/american-airlines-pilots-boeing-max-crews-need-better-mcas-training?NL=AW-05&Issue=AW-05_20190607_AW-05_913&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1&utm_rid=CPEN1000009553792&utm_campaign=19906&utm_medium=email&elq2=bca6637cfa314ec4a4a9bc94ab3d128c American Airlines Pilots: Boeing MAX Crews Need Better MCAS Training WASHINGTON—American Airlines pilots are emphasizing detailed instruction on the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) and revamped emergency procedures as key elements to ensuring a safe return to service for the grounded Boeing 737 MAX fleet, adding that simulator training should be introduced, but not necessarily as a condition to getting the MAX back flying. In comments to FAA on the Flight Standardization Board (FSB) draft report that will update 737 training standards, the Allied Pilots Association (APA) tracked closely with what colleagues from the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said. Among both groups’ recommendations: the MCAS modules being introduced must go beyond basic computer-based training (CBT) and provide pilots with real-world scenarios to help them understand the system and related failure scenarios. “A [computer-based] training (CBT) module that only discusses system knowledge regarding [the new MCAS software] will not provide a level of confidence for pilots to feel not only comfortable flying the aircraft but also relaying that confidence to the traveling public,” APA told FAA. “At a minimum the CBT should include videoed simulator sessions explaining MCAS and its operation along with Runaway Stabilizer demo, Unreliable Airspeed Demo, [Angle of attack (AOA)] Disagree Demo, and manual [stabilizer] trim demo at both low and high-speed scenarios. Both [737 MAX] accidents had all of these situations happening at once and looking at each of them will provide a level of training to bring confidence to the pilot group.” While both pilot groups emphasized the importance of detailed MCAS training, APA specifically called for a higher level of instruction for pilots transitioning from the 737 Next Generation (NG) to the MAX than FAA has proposed. “APA believes that a Level B coupled with Level C training should be mandatory,” the union said. “When pilots visually experience the failure modes and then apply them, the lesson is cemented in their minds.” Level B training—which FAA approved as the NG-to-MAX differences training standard—is computer-based, but does not require video or training aids. Level C training integrates more interactive learning, including training devices, but stops short of Level D’s full-flight simulators. The MCAS and related training are being revamped based on lessons learned from the October 2018 crash of a Lion Air 737-8 and the March 2019 Ethiopian Airlines 737-8 accident. The second accident led to the country-by-country worldwide grounding that remains in place. A more reliable MCAS system and better training are two of the requirements that FAA has put on removing its MAX operations ban. Other regulators are taking FAA’s work into account, but also are conducting their own evaluations of Boeing’s changes, which still have not been finalized. The result: the 370-aircraft in-service MAX fleet will almost surely be cleared to fly in phases, with U.S. operators likely to fly first. The exact timeline remains unclear. The key issue where regulators will differ is expected to be training. While the FAA has said it will not finalize its FSB update until it reviews its final training package, it is not expected to require full-flight simulator sessions as a condition of allowing pilots to fly the MAX again, while other countries have signaled their intent to consider immediate simulator time. FAA is however expected to mandate new simulator sessions during recurrent training—a move that would place far less burden on operators. APA and ALPA in have signaled their tentative endorsements for FAA’s approach, so long as the baseline training is “robust,” as ALPA said in its FSB comments. Both APA and ALPA emphasize that their comments were filed without the benefit of reviewing Boeing’s final training package, and their views could change. Among the issues FAA is reviewing is the runaway stabilizer trim emergency procedure that Boeing positioned as key to overcoming an MCAS failure. Neither the Lion Air nor Ethiopian flight crews followed the checklist, information released by investigators shows. The Lion Air crew never recognized the MCAS failure as a runaway stabilizer issue. The Ethiopian crew apparently did, and followed some of the checklist’s steps. But they were unable to pull the aircraft’s nose up after the MCAS, acting on erroneous angle-of-attack data, directed it downward by moving the horizontal stabilizer. They deviated from the checklist in several ways, including not reducing the aircraft’s speed enough and re-engaging the automatic stabilizer motors that MCAS uses to trim the aircraft. The pilots also were not able to manually move the stabilizer to counter-act the MCAS inputs. Boeing and FAA have said that a misfiring MCAS’s uncommanded stabilizer movement should be recognized as runaway stabilizer. But unlike classic runaway stabilizer, MCAS moves the flight-control surface intermittently, which could make it more difficult to diagnose. An MCAS failure also triggers other flight-deck warnings, adding to the pilot’s workload. APA and other pilot groups have pointed out that Boeing’s runaway stabilizer checklist is neither clear nor detailed enough when applied to an MCAS failure scenario, and should be revamped. Among the issues: the 737 flight crew operations manual (FCOM) on does not explain that moving the stabilizer manually may require both pilots, or that aerodynamic loads on the stabilizer may have to be reduced—such as by pushing the nose down—before trimming the aircraft manually. These details are included in supplemental training documents, however, and APA wants to see more of them in the FCOM. FAA is reviewing the checklist, and is likely to require changes. Despite MCAS’s improvements, APA believes the revamped checklist—which would also apply to the 737 Next Generation—should be in place before the MAX is approved to fly again. “[The runaway stab trim checklist] is related to the MCAS, even the new software,” APA spokesman and American 737 captain Dennis Tajer said. “It’s still what I’m left with to recover the aircraft if the MCAS misfires.” American Airlines management has signaled that it is willing to adopt whatever APA believes is needed to ensure its 4,000 737 pilots are comfortable operating the MAX, Tajer said. That means APA’s FSB comments will likely become American’s training standard. “We’re getting additional computer-based training because there are things that we all agree need to be added” even if they are not in the final FSB, Tajer said. “We’re going to be comfortable with what we have—American [management] has been very responsive.” APA’s push, Tajer said, is about ensuring that MAX training standards are set as high as possible, as not every airline will go beyond the minimum requirements. “We want one global standard of safety and training, and we’re pressing hard on this,” he said. “If there’s a problem with the MAX anywhere in the world, it’s a problem for all of us.”
  11. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7104735/FAA-finds-Boeing-787-jets-wheels-tires-lose-braking-steering-function.html?fbclid=IwAR19Qx4zWgo4O-RRh3EE-H5D7rgA2IMs87VbPYlbsbsTsQvS1FrfWzhbPqQ EXCLUSIVE: More safety concerns for Boeing as FAA says its 'Dreamliner' planes could lose braking and steering function - taking nearly 100 of the 787 jets out of the air for $5million repairs The Federal Aviation Administration have identified safety flaws in Boeing's 787 jets - called the Dreamliner, DailyMail.com can reveal. The tires and wheels of the 787-9 and 787-8 jets 'could be susceptible to damage, which could result in a loss of braking on one main landing gear truck' The FAA also found an issue that could see a 'loss of nose wheel steering and loss of directional control on the ground when below rudder effectiveness speed' Repairs required to fix this particular safety concern will cost more than $5million, the FAA reports This model is flown by 72 major airlines including United, Virgin Atlantic and American and will affect an estimated 87 airplanes Boeing has been hit by new safety concerns affecting two further plane models and requiring million of dollars worth of repairs. It is just two days since the Federal Aviation Administration announced a new problem with the company's 300 grounded 737 MAX jets. Now, DailyMail.com can disclose, the beleaguered air giant has been handed new Airworthiness Directives by regulators who have identified safety flaws in Boeing's 787 jets - the company's so-called Dreamliner. According to the FAA the tires/wheels of the recently launched 787-9 and 787-8 'could be susceptible to damage, which could result in a loss of braking on one main landing gear truck, loss of nose wheel steering and loss of directional control on the ground when below rudder effectiveness speed.' The regulators' directive will be effective from Thursday, June 6 and affects an estimated 87 airplanes on the US registry.
  12. http://newsinflight.com/2019/06/03/azerbaijan-airline-azal-has-cancelled-boeing-737maxs-on-order-valued-1billion/?fbclid=IwAR39CiGW5_2PJPH4msYzpQOMjQmzbkV5KSz_CpgOu96IarclnsVNTl6TNX0
  13. I would think the 10 day window was more aimed at the NG, given that the MAX is grounded. But yeah, get it done now.
  14. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/01/business/boeing-737-max-crash.html?utm_source=pocket-newtab Boeing Built Deadly Assumptions Into 737 Max, Blind to a Late Design Change SEATTLE — The fatal flaws with Boeing’s 737 Max can be traced to a breakdown late in the plane’s development, when test pilots, engineers and regulators were left in the dark about a fundamental overhaul to an automated system that would ultimately play a role in two crashes. A year before the plane was finished, Boeing made the system more aggressive and riskier. While the original version relied on data from at least two types of sensors, the final version used just one, leaving the system without a critical safeguard. In both doomed flights, pilots struggled as a single damaged sensor sent the planes into irrecoverable nose-dives within minutes, killing 346 people and prompting regulators around the world to ground the Max. But many people involved in building, testing and approving the system, known as MCAS, said they hadn’t fully understood the changes. Current and former employees at Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration who spoke with The New York Times said they had assumed the system relied on more sensors and would rarely, if ever, activate. Based on those misguided assumptions, many made critical decisions, affecting design, certification and training. “It doesn’t make any sense,” said a former test pilot who worked on the Max. “I wish I had the full story.” While prosecutors and lawmakers try to piece together what went wrong, the current and former employees point to the single, fateful decision to change the system, which led to a series of design mistakes and regulatory oversights. As Boeing rushed to get the plane done, many of the employees say, they didn’t recognize the importance of the decision. They described a compartmentalized approach, each of them focusing on a small part of the plane. The process left them without a complete view of a critical and ultimately dangerous system. The company also played down the scope of the system to regulators. Boeing never disclosed the revamp of MCAS to Federal Aviation Administration officials involved in determining pilot training needs, according to three agency officials. When Boeing asked to remove the description of the system from the pilot’s manual, the F.A.A. agreed. As a result, most Max pilots did not know about the software until after the first crash, in October. “Boeing has no higher priority than the safety of the flying public,” a company spokesman, Gordon Johndroe, said in a statement. He added that Boeing and regulators had followed standard procedures. “The F.A.A. considered the final configuration and operating parameters of MCAS during Max certification, and concluded that it met all certification and regulatory requirements,” Mr. Johndroe said. At first, MCAS — Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System — wasn’t a very risky piece of software. The system would trigger only in rare conditions, nudging down the nose of the plane to make the Max handle more smoothly during high-speed moves. And it relied on data from multiple sensors measuring the plane’s acceleration and its angle to the wind, helping to ensure that the software didn’t activate erroneously. Then Boeing engineers reconceived the system, expanding its role to avoid stalls in all types of situations. They allowed the software to operate throughout much more of the flight. They enabled it to aggressively push down the nose of the plane. And they used only data about the plane’s angle, removing some of the safeguards. The disasters might have been avoided, if employees and regulators had a better understanding of MCAS. A test pilot who originally advocated for the expansion of the system didn’t understand how the changes affected its safety. Safety analysts said they would have acted differently if they had known it used just one sensor. Regulators didn’t conduct a formal safety assessment of the new version of MCAS. The current and former employees, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigations, said that after the first crash, they were stunned to discover MCAS relied on a single sensor. “That’s nuts,” said an engineer who helped design MCAS. “I’m shocked,” said a safety analyst who scrutinized it. “To me, it seems like somebody didn’t understand what they were doing,” said an engineer who assessed the system’s sensors. MCAS Is Born In 2012, the chief test pilot for the Max had a problem. During the early development of the 737 Max, the pilot, Ray Craig, a silver-haired retired Navy airman, was trying out high-speed situations on a flight simulator, like maneuvers to avoid an obstacle or to escape a powerful vortex from another plane. While such moves might never be necessary for the pilot of a passenger plane, the F.A.A. requires that a jet handle well in those situations. But the plane wasn’t flying smoothly, partly because of the Max’s bigger engines. To fix the issue, Boeing decided to use a piece of software. The system was meant to work in the background, so pilots effectively wouldn’t know it was there. Mr. Craig, who had been with Boeing since 1988, didn’t like it, according to one person involved in the testing. An old-school pilot, he eschewed systems that take control from pilots and would have preferred an aerodynamic fix such as vortex generators, thin fins on the wings. But engineers who tested the Max design in a wind tunnel weren’t convinced they would work, the person said. Mr. Craig relented. Such high-speed situations were so rare that he figured the software would never actually kick in. To ensure it didn’t misfire, engineers initially designed MCAS to trigger when the plane exceeded at least two separate thresholds, according to three people who worked on the 737 Max. One involved the plane’s angle to the wind, and the other involved so-called G-force, or the force on the plane that typically comes from accelerating. The Max would need to hit an exceedingly high G-force that passenger planes would probably never experience. For the jet’s angle, the system took data from the angle-of-attack sensor. The sensor, several inches long, is essentially a small wind vane affixed to the jet’s fuselage. Adding More Power On a rainy day in late January 2016, thousands of Boeing employees gathered at a runway next to the 737 factory in Renton, Wash. They cheered as the first Max, nicknamed the Spirit of Renton, lifted off for its maiden test flight. “The flight was a success,” Ed Wilson, the new chief test pilot for the Max, said in a news release at the time. Mr. Wilson, who had tested Boeing fighter jets, had replaced Mr. Craig the previous year. “The 737 Max just felt right in flight, giving us complete confidence that this airplane will meet our customers’ expectations,” he said. But a few weeks later, Mr. Wilson and his co-pilot began noticing that something was off, according to a person with direct knowledge of the flights. The Max wasn’t handling well when nearing stalls at low speeds. In a meeting at Boeing Field in Seattle, Mr. Wilson told engineers that the issue would need to be fixed. He and his co-pilot proposed MCAS, the person said. The change didn’t elicit much debate in the group, which included just a handful of people. It was considered “a run-of-the-mill adjustment,” according to the person. Instead, the group mostly discussed the logistics of how MCAS would be used in the new scenarios. “I don’t recall ever having any real debates over whether it was a good idea or not,” the person said. The change proved pivotal. Expanding the use of MCAS to lower-speed situations required removing the G-force threshold. MCAS now needed to work at low speeds so G-force didn’t apply. The change meant that a single angle-of-attack sensor was the lone guard against a misfire. Although modern 737 jets have two angle-of-attack sensors, the final version of MCAS took data from just one. Using MCAS at lower speeds also required increasing the power of the system. When a plane is flying slowly, flight controls are less sensitive, and far more movement is needed to steer. Think of turning a car’s steering wheel at 20 miles an hour versus 70. The original version of MCAS could move the stabilizer — the part of the tail that controls the vertical direction of the jet — a maximum of about 0.6 degrees in about 10 seconds. The new version could move the stabilizer up to 2.5 degrees in 10 seconds. Test pilots aren’t responsible for dealing with the ramifications of such changes. Their job is to ensure the plane handles smoothly. Other colleagues are responsible for making the changes, and still others for assessing their impact on safety. Boeing declined to say whether the changes had prompted a new internal safety analysis. While the F.A.A. officials in charge of training didn’t know about the changes, another arm of the agency involved in certification did. But it did not conduct a safety analysis on the changes. The F.A.A. had already approved the previous version of MCAS. And the agency’s rules didn’t require it to take a second look because the changes didn’t affect how the plane operated in extreme situations. “The F.A.A. was aware of Boeing’s MCAS design during the certification of the 737 Max,” the agency said in a statement. “Consistent with regulatory requirements, the agency evaluated data and conducted flight tests within the normal flight envelope that included MCAS activation in low-speed stall and other flight conditions.” ‘External Events’ After engineers installed the second version of MCAS, Mr. Wilson and his co-pilot took the 737 Max for a spin. The flights were uneventful. They tested two potential failures of MCAS: a high-speed maneuver in which the system doesn’t trigger, and a low-speed stall when it activates but then freezes. In both cases, the pilots were able to easily fly the jet, according to a person with knowledge of the flights. In those flights, they did not test what would happen if MCAS activated as a result of a faulty angle-of-attack sensor — a problem in the two crashes. Boeing engineers did consider such a possibility in their safety analysis of the original MCAS. They classified the event as “hazardous,” one rung below the most serious designation of catastrophic, according to two people. In regulatory-speak, it meant that MCAS could trigger erroneously less often than once in 10 million flight hours. That probability may have underestimated the risk of so-called external events that have damaged sensors in the past, such as collisions with birds, bumps from ramp stairs or mechanics’ stepping on them. While part of the assessment considers such incidents, they are not included in the probability. Investigators suspect the angle-of-attack sensor was hit on the doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight in March. Bird strikes on angle-of-attack sensors are relatively common. A Times review of two F.A.A. databases found hundreds of reports of bent, cracked, sheared-off, poorly installed or otherwise malfunctioning angle-of-attack sensors on commercial aircraft over three decades. Since 1990, one database has recorded 1,172 instances when birds — meadowlarks, geese, sandpipers, pelicans and turkey vultures, among others — damaged sensors of various kinds, with 122 strikes on angle-of-attack vanes. The other database showed 85 problems with angle-of-attack sensors on Boeing aircraft, including 38 on 737s since 1995. And the public databases don’t necessarily capture the extent of incidents involving angle-of-attack sensors, since the F.A.A. has additional information. “I feel confidence in saying that there’s a lot more that were struck,” said Richard Dolbeer, a wildlife specialist who has spent over 20 years studying the issue at the United States Department of Agriculture, which tracks the issue for the F.A.A. A Simple Request On March 30, 2016, Mark Forkner, the Max’s chief technical pilot, sent an email to senior F.A.A. officials with a seemingly innocuous request: Would it be O.K. to remove MCAS from the pilot’s manual? The officials, who helped determine pilot training needs, had been briefed on the original version of MCAS months earlier. Mr. Forkner and Boeing never mentioned to them that MCAS was in the midst of an overhaul, according to the three F.A.A. officials. Under the impression that the system was relatively benign and rarely used, the F.A.A. eventually approved Mr. Forkner’s request, the three officials said. Boeing wanted to limit changes to the Max, from previous versions of the 737. Anything major could have required airlines to spend millions of dollars on additional training. Boeing, facing competitive pressure from Airbus, tried to avoid that. Mr. Forkner, a former F.A.A. employee, was at the front lines of this effort. As the chief technical pilot, he was the primary liaison with the F.A.A. on training and worked on the pilot’s manual. “The pressure on us,” said Rick Ludtke, a cockpit designer on the Max, “was huge.” “And that all got funneled through Mark,” Mr. Ludtke added. “And the pushback and resistance from the F.A.A. got funneled through Mark.” Like others, Mr. Forkner may have had an imperfect understanding of MCAS. Technical pilots at Boeing like him previously flew planes regularly, two former employees said. “Then the company made a strategic change where they decided tech pilots would no longer be active pilots,” Mr. Ludtke said. Mr. Forkner largely worked on flight simulators, which didn’t fully mimic MCAS. It is unclear whether Mr. Forkner, now a pilot for Southwest Airlines, was aware of the changes to the system. Mr. Forkner’s attorney, David Gerger, said his client did not mislead the F.A.A. “Mark is an Air Force veteran who put safety first and was transparent in his work,” Mr. Gerger said. “In thousands of tests, nothing like this had ever happened,” he said. “Based on what he was told and what he knew, he never dreamed that it could.” The F.A.A. group that worked with Mr. Forkner made some decisions based on an incomplete view of the system. It never tested a malfunctioning sensor, according to the three officials. It didn’t require additional training. William Schubbe, a senior F.A.A. official who worked with the training group, told pilots and airlines in an April meeting in Washington, D.C., that Boeing had underplayed MCAS, according to a recording reviewed by The Times. “The way the system was presented to the F.A.A.,” Mr. Schubbe said, “the Boeing Corporation said this thing is so transparent to the pilot that there’s no need to demonstrate any kind of failing.” The F.A.A. officials involved in training weren’t the only ones operating with outdated information. An April 2017 maintenance manual that Boeing provided to airlines refers to the original version of MCAS. By that point, Boeing had started delivering the planes. The current manual is updated. Boeing continued to defend MCAS and its reliance on a single sensor after the first crash, involving Indonesia’s Lion Air. At a tense meeting with the pilots’ union at American Airlines in November, Boeing executives dismissed concerns. “It’s been reported that it’s a single point failure, but it is not considered by design or certification a single point,” said Mike Sinnett, a Boeing vice president, according to a recording of the meeting. His reasoning? The pilots were the backup. “Because the function and the trained pilot work side by side and are part of the system,” he said. Four months later, a second 737 Max crashed in Ethiopia. Within days, the Max was grounded around the world. As part of the fix, Boeing has reworked MCAS to more closely resemble the first version. It will be less aggressive, and it will rely on two sensors.