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techkenyot.com May 26, 2019


Boeing says 737 Max update is being held up by FAA questions

18 May 2019, 04:22 | Glen Norman

Boeing completes software update for 737 MAX

Boeing 737 MAX

The plane model was grounded in many countries around the world after the Ethiopian Airlines crash, including in the US - despite Boeing's insistence on the airworthiness of the jet.

"With safety as our clear priority, we have completed all of the engineering test flights for the software update", Boeing chairman, CEO and president Dennis Muilenburg said in a statement Thursday.

The software heads next to the US Federal Aviation Administration and its counterparts in other countries that want to review it.

In the United States, following regulatory approval of a Boeing software fix and new training, airlines will have to run through an FAA-approved checklist, industry officials say.

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USA officials said American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines flew tens of thousands of flights with the MAX and reported no unusual incidents with MCAS.

In both the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes, the MCAS pointed the plane sharply downward based on a faulty sensor reading, hindering pilot control after takeoff, according to preliminary crash investigations. The two tragedies killed 346 people. "[.] The accidents have only intensified our commitment to our values, including safety, quality and integrity", said Muilenburg.

"Boeing has developed enhanced training and education materials that are now being reviewed with the FAA, global regulators, and airline customers to support return-to-service and longer-term operations", the company statement said.

Boeing's announcement about the software update followed the grilling of FAA acting administrator Dan Elwell by the US House Transportation Committee on Wednesday. "This includes a series of regional customer conferences being conducted around the world".

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Other lawmakers defended the FAA and Boeing and suggested that the October 29 crash of a Lion Air jet off Indonesia and the March 10 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Max were due at least partly to pilot error.

With the 737 Max out indefinitely, turbulent times lay ahead for Boeing (BA) stock.

Meanwhile, multiple investigations, including the initial crash investigation, are ongoing.

Last week, Seifman met with Boeing management with a focus, obviously, on the 737 Max. "I am not happy with a 13-month gap between finding that anomaly and us finding out about it", Elwell said.

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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. And during the hearing, Ranking Member Sam Graves, a Republican from Missouri, who expressed concern about tearing down the USA system based on what happened in other countries, bolstered that view by raising questions about pilot errors in the crashes and their levels of experience.



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