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

Boeing claims its update for the 737 Max software has been completed

YI-CHIN LEE APBoeing claims its update for the 737 Max software has been completed

Many airlines, including SilkAir, had grounded the B-737 Max in the wake of two crashes that involved the jet - the first in Indonesia in October 2018, and the second in March this year in Ethiopia.

In a statement, the company said that it has flown the updated software on the 737 MAX for more than 360 hours on 207 flights.

But the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States, among others, will have to first review the software before the plane takes to the air again.

The company has said its fix will feed MCAS with data from two, rather than just one, sensor, making the plane less susceptible to a crash because of bad data.

When asked why the FAA approved a system that could cause the aircraft to dive based on one faulty angle-of-attack (AOA) reading, he replied that pilots could counter MCAS by using a checklist "they should have in memory". It happened five months after a similar crash of a Lion Air flight killed 189 people. "[.] The accidents have only intensified our commitment to our values, including safety, quality and integrity", said Muilenburg.

Boeing has also developed training and educational materials in a bid to support their return to service.

Boeing's 737 MAX series planes are considered to be the most advanced and fuel-efficient single-aisle jets.

He said in a statement that Boeing has completed development of the updated software for the 737 MAX, along with associated simulator testing and the company's engineering test flight.

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.

Elwell defended FAA's practice of designating employees of Boeing and other aerospace manufacturers to do some inspection work, saying it takes advantage of industry expertise, and "when done right, is indispensable to the health and safety of our system".

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.

Pilots are expected to undergo extra training on the new system once it receives certification. "I am not happy with a 13-month gap between finding that anomaly and us finding out about it", Elwell said. 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.

A file image of a Boeing 737 MAX flight deck. FAA aircraft certification chief Earl Lawrence told Congress Wednesday his agency has seen a preliminary version of Boeing's fix.

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