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REVEALED: Leaked audio outs Boeing executives for ignoring pilots demands on 737 Max

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On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that before the Ethiopian Airlines crash, pilots urged Boeing executives to push the Federal Aviation Administration to issue an emergency airworthiness directive for the 737 Max’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), only for it to fall on deaf ears.

“My question to you, as Boeing, is why wouldn’t you say this is the smartest thing to do?” said American Airlines pilot and union official Michael Michaelis on a leaked audio recording of the meeting in November, just after the Lion Air crash. “Say we’re going to do everything we can to protect that traveling public in accordance with what our pilots unions are telling us … These guys didn’t even know the damn system was on the airplane, nor did anybody else.”

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Boeing vice president Mike Sinnett said “You’ve got to understand that our commitment to safety is as great as yours,” but declined to do as Michaelis asked, saying that pilots now had the advance warning and training necessary to handle the system as is. He also added, “We don’t want to rush and do a crappy job of fixing the right things and we also don’t want to fix the wrong things … For flight-critical software, I don’t think you want us to rush, rush it faster.”

Boeing declined to comment on the recording.

MCAS is an anti-stalling system that is designed to correct for the 737 Max’s unique weight distribution. While the investigation into the fatal Lion Air and Ethiopian crashes is not yet complete, it is speculated that in both cases, MCAS overcorrected and pitched down the planes after takeoff, with the pilots unable to work out how to disable the system.

An emergency airworthiness directive had already been issued for MCAS after Lion Air, requiring that manuals instruct pilots how to handle malfunctions of the system. But pilots also wanted Boeing to push the FAA to issue a second directive to upgrade the faulty software itself, something that they were reportedly unwilling to do as it would temporarily ground the aircraft.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Has anything changed since Burning Man’s sex assault and labor issues were exposed?

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The last weekend in August marks the start of Burning Man, a week-long, festival in the Nevada desert consisting of freewheeling performance art, fanciful costumes, and a lot of drugs. The anarchic party with more than 50,000 attendees constitutes a pilgrimage for many attendees, lured by the promise of leaving the “default world” behind in exchange for a transformative or even spiritual experience.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Truckers are facing a ‘bloodbath’ in their industry — and it’s turning many in the pro-Trump group against him: report

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Truckers are numerous, conservative, and hurting. And despite their widespread support for Donald Trump’s candidacy in 2016, a new report from Business Insider suggests the pain in the industry might be turning these workers away from the president.

The political trends in trucking are not insignificant. According to the American Trucking Associations, there were an estimated 3.5 million truck drivers in 2018. RTS Financial has found that there are 7.4 million jobs total “tied to the trucking industry.” And Business Insider reported that nearly 90 percent of truckers are registered voters, higher than the general population.

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WATCH: Trump’s collusion with Russia is now a topic for impeachment — along with obstruction and racism

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President Donald Trump's interactions with Russia are now a topic of the impeachment investigation.

"There was an important development in support for impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives today," MSNBC anchor Lawrence O'Donnell reported Tuesday. "Important both in who the new support comes from and what that support is based on."

"Congresswoman Lauren Underwood of Illinois is one of the freshmen Democrats who flipped a Republican district last year in winning her election. She brings the total number of House Democrats supporting impeachment now to 126 -- a majority of the Democrats' 235 members of the House," he explained.

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