Some pilots said they did not know the MCAS system existed until after the Lion Air crash.
“It blew us away. It absolutely shocked us,” said Dennis Tajer, an American Airlines Boeing 737 pilot an a spokesman for the airline’s union, the Allied Pilots Association.
Switching from previous models of the 737 to the 737 Max entailed a 56-minute iPad training session, Tajer said. The FAA did not require additional training under the certification of the plane.
On an earnings call in April 2017, Boeing’s CEO Muilenburg was asked how deregulation early in Trump’s term affected the company.
Muilenburg replied that “the administration has been very engaged across government agencies and with industry to find ideas and ways and opportunities to simplify and streamline.
“Things like FAA certification processes is one place that we’re seeing some solid progress,” he said. “That’s helping us more efficiently work through certification on some of our new model aircraft, such as the Max, as it’s going through flight test and entering into service.”
The FAA had signed off on the 737 Max 8 planes in March 2017.
Boeing met with American’s pilots as well as with their counterparts at Southwest after the Lion Air crash to discuss the system.
Boeing told the pilots they were working on a fix to the plane’s software, which the FAA confirmed when it had said on Tuesday that the planes were still airworthy. Tajer said pilots felt renewed confidence following the Boeing meeting in November.