Boeing finishes software update for grounded 737 Max airliner

Boeing 737 MAX

The FAA chief has been grilled about the 737 MAX fiasco

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.

"Boeing has completed development of the updated software for the 737 MAX, along with associated simulator testing and the company's engineering test flight", said the U.S. top aircraft manufacturer on Thursday, Xinhua reported.

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

"Boeing did not treat the 737 Max 8 situation like the emergency it was", said Daniel Carey, president of the American Airlines pilots' union, which has filed public records related to the matter. Once those requests are addressed, Boeing will work with the FAA to schedule a final certification test flight and submit final certification documentation.

It added that it has flown the 737 Max with an updated flight control system, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), for more than 360 hours on 207 flights.

In crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, an automated system called MCAS mistakenly turned the noses of the planes down in response to faulty readings from a single sensor. Pilots were unable to regain control; 346 people died.

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".

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Boeing said Thursday it has developed an enhanced training and education program that is being reviewed by the FAA and other worldwide regulators.

Regulators around the world have grounded MAX series planes following the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10.

US FAA acting administrator Dan Elwell earlier told a committee hearing the agency expected to receive the proposed software fix as soon as next week but did not say how long it would take to get the planes back in the air.

Last week, Seifman met with Boeing management with a focus, obviously, on the 737 Max.

An aerial photo shows Boeing 737 MAX airplanes parked on the tarmac at the Boeing Factory in Renton, Washington, U.S. March 21, 2019. "I am not happy with a 13-month gap between finding that anomaly and us finding out about it", Elwell said. Critics say Boeing rushed the design of the Max; the company disputes that.

Aviation safety analyst Todd Curtis told the BBC that it would take a lot to convince the pilots and other flight crew members that the Boeing MAX aircraft was safe. And during the hearing, Ranking Member Sam Graves, a Republican from Missouri, who expressed concern about tearing down the US 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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