Boeing says it has completed 737 Max software fix

Cheryl Sanders
May 18, 2019

Boeing said it has finished a software update for its 737 MAX airliner, part of the company's effort to address critical safety issues with the plane after two fatal crashes this year.

The aviation company said Thursday it has flown the 737 Max with updated MCAS software for more than 360 hours on 207 flights to date.

-Boeing is providing more information to address questions from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration about pilot interaction with the Max's controls and displays in different scenarios.

The next major step is a certification flight with FAA representatives, although that is yet to be scheduled.

"We have completed all of the engineering test flights for the software update and are preparing for the final certification flight", said Muilenburg.

In the first of a series of grillings on Boeing's grounded 737 MAX, Daniel Elwell, acting administrator of the FAA, along with National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt, testified before the House Aviation Subcommittee on Wednesday, the latest in a round of inquiries and investigations surrounding Boeing's 737 MAX.

It is unclear when the 737 MAX aircraft will return to service, but USA airlines have said they hope the jets will fly this summer.

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 were killed in the crashes.

The FAA, global regulators, and airline customers were also reviewing enhanced training and education material developed by Boeing to support the 737 MAX's longer-term operations after returning to service.

These include revelations that Boeing was aware of a problem with a signal connected to the MCAS for more than a year before it told the FAA and that Boeing executives rebuffed American Airlines pilots who sought a more aggressive response to the MCAS problems at a meeting shortly after the Lion Air crash.

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.

"I would call it the beta version", Lawrence said. "We don't know what training is like for Lion Air pilots or Ethiopian pilots".

The next steps Boeing needs to take is to convince the world that they have fixed the Boeing 737 MAX.

Pilots are expected to undergo extra training on the new system once it receives certification.

Aviation regulators in other countries will complete their own reviews of the software separate from the worldwide Joint Authorities Technical Review, or JATR, the FAA has organized.

The FAA will need to send the software to the FAA and FAA equivalents in other countries.

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