Mulugeta Ayene / AP
Boeing says it has a software fix ready for its 737 MAX aircraft that will be presented to airline officials, pilots and aviation authorities from around the world on Wednesday, as the aircraft manufacturer is working to build trust among its customers and flying public successors Two deadly crash of the plan in recent months.
At the same time, these crashes and the relationship between Boeing and the federal agency responsible for regulating it will be discussed at an interrogation committee in the US Senate Committee on Wednesday. Planned to testify are the heads of the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, along with the Transportation Department's Secretary-General, investigating how the FAA went to certify 737 MAX as airworthiness, and whether regulators relied too much on Boeing's own safety assessments in its examination.
These developments come as transport authorities in Ethiopia are preparing to release preliminary concerns about the cause of the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane earlier this month killing all 157 people on board. 19659008] A spokesman for the Ethiopian Ministry of Transport told the Associated Press "one day has not been fixed, but the preliminary report will be released later this week." The spokesman says that the US National Transportation Safety Board, France's Aviation Investigation Authority, BEA and Ethiopia's Ministry of Transport have conducted the survey jointly.
Investigators have said there were striking similarities between the crash on March 10 outside the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and the crash of a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 in the Java Sea in Indonesia in October. Both plans crashed shortly after takeoff and both followed similar, uneven flight paths in the air indicating that the pilots might have struggled to try to keep the plan from entering nosedives.
In the Lion Air jet crash on October 29, killing all 189 people on board, Indonesian investigators say an automated flight control system, which deals with faulty data from a faulty sensor, repeatedly forced the nose of the plane down. The system, called MCAS, for maneuvering capabilities, augmentation systems, is designed to prevent the aircraft from stopping. But the Lion Air pilot apparently did not know how to counteract the system or loosen it, and was in a slight struggle to regain control of the plane.
After the Lion Air crash, many pilots who had not learned about the MCAS system, as it did in previous versions of 737, complained or had been trained on what to do when the system engages and forces the nose on the plane down unexpectedly.
It's still not clear if something similar happened on the Ethiopian Airlines jet but the company's CEO says pilots had been taught how to handle the new system after the Lion Air crash.
Boeing officials say the company has completed the development of MCAS software upgrades aimed at preventing such events in the future. The system will no longer work repeatedly to force the nose on the plane and will act only if it detects the plane entering an aerodynamic stable. And the MCAS system will rely on data from the two attack sensors on the plane, instead of just one.
In addition, a warning light that warns the pilot when the angle of attack sensor disagrees, instead of being a more expensive option for the airlines to buy, and it will be added to the entire fleet of 737 MAX aircraft for free.
A Boeing official says the software upgrades have undergone extensive laboratory and simulator testing, with pilots in a simulator against a series of errors and errors, including sensor errors and other faulty inputs.
Boeing official says the FAA participated in the evaluation, also demonstrating the software upgrades during a test flight on March 12.
It is unlikely that the FAA will act swiftly to certify program upgrades and other corrections, especially in view of the review of the certification process by Congress and others. And regulators in Canada, Europe, China and other countries say they will no longer rely on FAA data and will do their own testing of the MCAS software updates before allowing the Boeing 737 MAX plane back in the air. As a result, some experts say that it may be months before the aircraft can be used again.