Boeing sold crucial safety features that may have been able to prevent the recent Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 crash as extras, reports The New York Times.
The first feature was an “angle of attack” indicator, which makes it easier for the pilot to read information being submitted by sensors.
The other feature was a light that flashes if sensors provide conflicting information – alerting the pilot to the fact that the readings aren’t necessarily accurate.
“They’re critical, and cost almost nothing for the airlines to install,” said analyst Bjorn Fehrm.
“Boeing charges for them because it can. But they’re vital for safety.”
The light would bring attention to a sensor malfunction, warning pilots of faults in the system, said Peter Lemme, a former Boeing flight controls engineer.
“As part of our standard practice following any accident, we examine our aircraft design and operation, and when appropriate, institute product updates to further improve safety,” said Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg.
Boeing plans to release a software update for all 737 aircraft in April in the wake of the crash.