FAA regulators knew of Boeing Max risk after first crash: WSJ

Key Points
  • Regulators knew there was high risk after first 737 Max crash, The Wall Street Journal says.
  • The FAA decided it would be enough to inform pilots of the possible hazard, the newspaper reports.
  • More than 500 of Boeing's 737 Max planes have been grounded since mid-March.
A Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplane
Stephen Brashear | Getty Images

Previously unreported analysis by the Federal Aviation Administration of the first Boeing Max crash suggests it "didn't take that much" for a sensor to malfunction and that a similar disaster  was possible.

Just over five months after that Lion Air crash in Indonesia, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed in March, leading to the worldwide grounding of all 737 Max aircraft. The two crashes killed 346 people.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the first crash prompted the FAA to inform pilots about the risk of a sensor malfunction that could repeatedly push the nose of a plane down.

FAA outmatched by Boeing, says The NY Times' David Gelles

The paper added that the tactic was to give Boeing and regulators enough time to certify a permanent fix without removing planes from the sky.

One regulator told the Journal that the FAA's goal was: "Get something out immediately and then mandate something more permanent."

Boeing stock has slipped around 7.75% during 2019.

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