Boeing says software update for 737 Max is complete

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 18, 2019

The software update was conducted after a two crashes involving the 737 MAX airplane: one in Addis Ababa in March operated by Ethiopian Airlines and one off the north coast of Java in October 2018 operated by Lion Air.

Chicago-based Boeing said it has flown 207 test flights with the new software.

It is also working to schedule a certification test flight with the FAA and providing information detailing how pilots interact with the plane's controls and displays in various flight scenarios.

The FAA said earlier this week that it would hold a meeting on 23 May with air regulators from around the world to provide an update on reviews of Boeing's software fix and new pilot training.

Boeing said on Thursday it was in the process of submitting a plan on pilot training to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for approval, after which each airline will develop its own FAA-approved training program.

Speaking to reporters and analysts a day after SIA reported a 47.5 per cent drop in profits to $683 million for the year to end-March, Mr Goh said SIA will pay "close attention" to the developments of the 737 Max software update.

If the sensors feed bad data into MCAS, the system could automatically trigger, potentially sending the plane into a nosedive. A total of 346 people died in the two crashes.

He said the two accidents have only intensified Boeing's commitment to its values, including safety, quality and integrity, because "we know lives depend on what we do".

On Wednesday, acting FAA Administrator Dan Elwell said he expected Boeing to make its formal submission for its software update in the next week or so.

The MAX 8's flight system came under scrutiny in March when an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed, killing all 157 aboard.

Boeing could claim it did due diligence in testing the new 737 MAX and its Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). The exact degree to which pilot error may have been a factor remains unclear and likely will remain so until final reports are issued, but according to CBS, those errors probably would not have been a factor had there not been "clear and fundamental flaws" in the MCAS design.

But the only orders reported by Boeing for April were bookkeeping entries: Four 737 Max jets that had been sold to Boeing Capital in the past were transferred to an unidentified lessor last month.

Jason Goldberg, spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, said it will take about a week to prepare American Airline Group Inc's MAX fleet to fly, not counting the extra training.

"I would call it the beta version", Lawrence said. The company registered 2,140 flight cancelations during the quarter-1,200 were due to Boeing's troubled 737 MAX planes. "The reason why they submitted it to us is so we can stick it in the simulator so we could test it, so we can also look at their system safety analysis and see whether it will appropriately address it".

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