“I would definitely be looking at the manmachine interface and how pilots respond,” said Cox, a former airline pilot who flew earlier versions of the 737 and specialized at the NTSB in cockpit actions.
The Boeing directive didn’t call for operators to carry out new inspections or take other action. It stressed that pilots should follow procedures in the flight manual when encountering erroneous data. Boeing has delivered 219 Max planes — the latest and most advanced 737 jets — since the models made their commercial debut last year with a Lion Air subsidiary.
American aviation regulators followed by issuing an emergency order Wednesday requiring that airlines follow Boeing’s instructions and add information to pilot manuals showing how to diagnose the problem and respond.
Carriers will have three days to update their manuals under the order, issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA said the problem “could cause the flight crew to have difficulty controlling the airplane, and lead to excessive nose-down attitude, significant altitude loss, and possible impact with terrain.”
Boeing, which is headquartered in Chicago, said it is cooperating fully and providing technical assistance as the investigation continues.
Investigators looking into the crash of a Lion Air 737 want to know what actions pilots took to counteract a dive.