Boeing Co.'s 737 sales tally for this year dropped by 171 aircraft in April as the company adjusted its order book to reflect the financial woes of Jet Airways India Ltd., a major customer of the USA planemaker's Max models.
MCAS is suspected of playing a role in both the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes, with the system pushing the nose of those planes down after getting faulty data from a sensor. The carrier hadn't taken delivery of any of the planes before the grounding began, and Boeing executives indicated last month that they would strike the orders from the backlog. The company is now in the process of updating its planes' anti-stall system, known as MCAS.
The call for changes, which could have required the best-selling aircraft model to be temporarily grounded, were reported by The New York Times and CBS News after they obtained an audio recording of the November 27 meeting between the American Airlines pilots union and officials from the aircraft manufacturer.
The families of people killed aboard a Boeing aircraft now under scrutiny say regulators should wait for investigators looking into a pair of crashes to conclude their work before allowing those planes to fly again. Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"The worst thing that can ever happen is a tragedy like this, and the even worse thing would be another one", he said later in the meeting held four months before the Ethiopian Airlines disaster. "That's the important thing".
Former Delta Air Lines pilot and executive Stephen Dickson asserts that he will make sure the Federal Aviation Administration does not become captive to the industry if he is confirmed as its chief. "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".
The software fixes had not gone through by the time a second 737 Max crashed in Ethiopia in March, killing all 157 people on board.
But the meeting shows that pilots were already anxious about the safety of the model following the October 2018 crash in Indonesia of a Lion Air 737 MAX 8 that left no survivors of the 189 people onboard.
On Wednesday, a Congressional committee will question the Federal Aviation Administration, over the certification of the 737 Max. National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt will also appear at the hearing, which marks the first among several planned by House Democrats on the 747 Max plane.
The Allied Pilots Association, which represents American Airlines pilots, tweeted a Dallas Morning News article on the meeting.