Boeing completes 737 MAX software update, working on pilot training plan

Sergio Conner
May 18, 2019

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

To date, Boeing has flown the 737 MAX with updated MCAS software for more than 360 hours on 207 flights, he said.

It is also working to schedule a certification test flight with the FAA and providing information detailing how pilots interact with the plane's controls and displays in various flight scenarios.

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.

Speaking to reporters and analysts a day after SIA reported a 47.5 per cent drop in profits to $683 million for the year to end-March, Mr Goh said SIA will pay "close attention" to the developments of the 737 Max software update.

Investigators believed a flaw in the MCAS software was a contributory factor to the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max plane en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya, on March 10, 2019, which killed all 157 people aboard.

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 engineers have been working on the software update for more than six months - far longer than they expected - having started shortly after the October 29 crash of a Max operated by Indonesia's Lion Air.

SpiceJet has been most affected by the grounding of 737 Max aircraft as it has 12 of them in its fleet.

Quickly reintegrating Boeing's 737 MAX, a fast-selling model because of its fuel efficiency, longer range, and passenger capacity, is crucial for optimizing airlines' routes and improving margins after having to cancel thousands of flights.

Singapore Airlines Ltd predicts "significant" costs this year as the carrier incurs extra expenses to lease planes due to the indefinite grounding of Boeing Co 737 Max aircraft.

Multiple investigations, including the initial crash investigation, are ongoing.

It will also make the system less potent, which is expected to prevent the steep dives seen in the two crashes, and provide additional training materials.

"I would call it the beta version", Lawrence said. When both Boeing and the FAA refused to ground the aircraft, the world's airlines and aviation authorities took things into their own hands. 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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