Published: Fri, June 28, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

New Flaw Discovered in Boeing 737 Max Computer System, Sources Say

New Flaw Discovered in Boeing 737 Max Computer System, Sources Say

Safety flaw discovered during simulator test Reuters first reported on the new safety glitch: "The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has identified a new risk that Boeing Co must address on its 737 MAX before the grounded jet can return to service, the agency said on Wednesday".

The airline had previously planned to keep the jet off its flying schedule through September 2.

Boeing announced it could break the chain of events that led to both crashes by developing a software fix that would limit the potency of that stabilization system. IATA also called for "additional training requirements" for 737 MAX crews but did not take a position on whether simulator training should be required of pilots in order for the plane to be certified back into service.

Airlines are now warning of the prospect of flights being disrupted beyond the end of the busy summer period when the grounding of over 300 MAX jets and a delivery halt affecting at least 100 more has caused cancellations and high leasing bills. Now, it is unclear when the fleet will return to the air.

The comeback date for Boeing 737 Max planes which had earlier been slated for late 2019, may really not be visible after all. Preliminary accident reports pointed to software that erroneously pointed the planes' noses down and overpowered pilots' efforts to regain control.

It was not clear if the situation that resulted in an uncommanded dive can be addressed with a software update or if it is a microprocessor issue that will require a hardware replacement, but Boeing has told the FAA that it believes the issue can be addressed with a software upgrade.

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The earliest that Boeing will conduct a certification test flight is July 8.

"The FAA will lift the aircraft's prohibition order when we deem it is safe to do so", said the USA regulatory agency, which is noted as the response to recommendations from the Technical Advisory Board - an independent panel authorized to assess the possibility of restoring commercial operations of 737 MAX aircraft. The news that the FAA has found a "potential risk" in software developed for the 737 Max should come as no surprise.

While addressing the safety level of the plane, the company said it will not be offering the Boeing 737 Max planes for certification until it's certain that all safety requirements have.

FAA's acting administrator, Daniel Elwell, says the agency has not made a final decision about training.

The airlines haven't disclosed how much they are seeking from Boeing, but some analysts peg industrywide losses at about $1 billion.

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director general and CEO, noted, however, "At the same time, aviation is a globally integrated system that relies on global standards, including mutual recognition, trust, and reciprocity among safety regulators".

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