Boeing 737 MAX: 'Sensor broke off, computer misread data and fought the pilots'

Kieno Kammies speaks to Guy Leitch, managing editor of SA Flyer Magazine about the Boeing 737 Max airplanes that crashed.

Leitch comments on recent findings by U.S. aviation investigators that a bird strike may have led to the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max in March.

The bottom line is that there is a glitch in the software - or it was actually designed in - but no one anticipated what would happen if one of the sensors that control what is called the angle of attack indicator, was damaged or broke off.

Guy Leitch, Editor - SA Flyer Magazine

And that is what the data from the Ethiopian plane crash shows.

The sensor was broken off at a couple of hundred feet after take-off. And there are only two of them, so the flight control computer did not know which information to believe. It fought the pilots the whole way until it crashed the airplane.

Guy Leitch, Editor - SA Flyer Magazine

The sensor is now being revised as well as the way the airplane processes data.

So it puts limits on how far it will correct for bad data or incorrect data so that it cannot over-control or effectively cut out the pilots

Guy Leitch, Editor - SA Flyer Magazine

Leitch believes there should be three sensors rather than two.

Then if one goes bad, you have another two to outvote it.

Guy Leitch, Editor - SA Flyer Magazine

He says the reputational damage and financial cost to Boeing are enormous.

Take a listen to what Leitch has to say about the Boeing 737 Max below:


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