The doomed Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines 737 jets both lacked two crucial safety features which may have prevented their crashing because Boeing left the features out in order to charge extra for them, The Seattle Times reports.
“Boeing’s optional safety features, in part, could have helped the pilots detect any erroneous readings. One of the optional upgrades, the angle of attack indicator, displays the readings of the two sensors. The other, called a disagree light, is activated if those sensors are at odds with one another,” the paper said.
“They’re critical, and cost almost nothing for the airlines to install,” said Bjorn Fehrm, an analyst at the aviation consultancy Leeham. “Boeing charges for them because it can. But they’re vital for safety.”
Both of the doomed jets followed a similar pattern with pilots losing control of the aircraft shortly after take-off and then fatally crashing minutes into their flights.
This information comes on the heels of a report that Boeing had been involved in certifying the safety of their own planes.