According to Boeing its Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) was designed and certified for the 737 MAX to enhance the pitch stability of the airplane, so that it feels and flies like other 737s. The question now however is, did it have the potential to command undesired, repeated pitch excursions which caused the nose of the 737 MAX to PITCH DOWN in response to pilot control inputs for nose up – or climb – positions?
Preliminary investigations indicate that the MCAS and related systems may have commanded such nose down configurations. Additional analysis will certainly answer the questions of where those flight command controls came from and whether such flight control commands were capable of being over ridden or neutralized.
We know that the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) have been retrieved and analyzed. Analysis of both of these sources will be invaluable in explaining how and why the Lion and Ethiopian 737 Max airplanes appear to have experienced critical nose up and down excursions resulting in the fatal crashes. It has been reported that Boeing ran a series of simulator tests with pilots from different airlines to examine different techniques to attempt to override MCAS inputs. The outcome of such tests may also prove to be very valuable in solving the many questions that remain from these crashes.
Bailey & Partners will continue to keep you informed with updated information.
NOTE: This article is a follow-up to our recent post: Update: Boeing 737 Max 8 “Operator Error Theory” Collapsed