The New York Times reported that Boeing charged airlines extra for 2 safety features. These features have the ability to detect issues in advance with the 737 Max planes involved in massive crashes. The additional sensors provide checks on data collected by sensors on the planes. They could have alerted pilots to potential issues. Boeing will now make one of those safety add-ons standard issues on the 737 Max planes. Both the optional safety features work in tandem with a new software system used in the planes.
The software takes readings from the angle of attack sensors. It determines how much the plane’s nose is pointing up or down in relation to oncoming air. It can automatically correct course to prevent the plane from stalling if the software system determines the plane is pointed at a potentially dangerous angle. Investigators have indicated that faulty data collected by sensors may have caused the software system to malfunction. It’s still unclear if the 2 additional safety features would have made a difference in the 2 crashes. Boeing was selling one of the add-on safety features and called it an angle of attack indicator.
The system will display readings received from the angle of attack sensors. It gives pilots readout of the information. The other optional safety checks was a disagree light that would activate if the sensors were producing data that didn’t match. Boeing has planned to include a disagree light on the Boeing 737 without charging more for it. But, the angle of attack indicator will remain a purchasable entity. Boeing isn’t being made by regulators to make any of the optional features available. The company appears in trying to ramp up its safety efforts in order to get the 737 Max back in the air after being grounded by the United States and other countries in the world.