Boeing Completes Software Update for 737 MAX
Boeing said it has completed the software to fix the flight control issue for the 737 MAX, having tested the updated software on 207 flights for more than 360 hours.
Now it heads to the FAA for review, in consultation with a Technical Advisory Board, before the aircraft can be re-certified.
The fleet has been grounded since Mar. 13, after two crashes of Boeing’s new 737 MAX in Indonesia and Ethiopia, killing 346 people.
According to preliminary crash reports, the flight control system repeatedly pushed the nose of the jet down after takeoff. It was reportedly caused by bad data flowing into the MCAS system – or Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System – triggering the automatic lowering of the aircrafts’ noses, and ultimately the fatal dives.
Boeing said the fix will feed MCAS with data from two sensors, opposed to the original one, making the plane less susceptible to a crash because of bad data.
The FAA will meet with its counterparts in other countries next week, who also grounded the MAX to discuss the process of safety analysis.
Since the grounding, Southwest Airlines and Americans Airlines have had to extend MAX cancellations into August as they wait for the FAA’s re-certification. About 100 American Airlines flights per day were affected, while Southwest’s schedule included about 160 flights per day on the aircraft.