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Software Update On Its 737 Max Aircrafts Is Complete, Says Boeing

Software Update On Its 737 Max Aircrafts Is Complete, Says Boeing
The much expected software update for the 737 Max aircrafts has been completed by Boeing, the company announced on Thursday. The entire aviation industry had been expecting this upgrade following the grounding of all of the 737Max aircrafts throughout the world after two deadly crashes involving the same model in less than five months.  
The software update is to fix a glitch in a flight handling system in the aircrafts which, after preliminary investigations in both the crashes, is believed to have been behind the accidents. For the update to be operational and used in commercial flights involving the 737 Max, it now has to be approved and certified by the US and international aviation regulators.  
"With safety as our clear priority, we have completed all of the engineering test flights for the software update and are preparing for the final certification flight," said Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg said in a statement.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) it must “get it right” in deciding when to allow the Boeing 737 MAX to fly again, said the chairman of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee at a congressional hearing. "The accidents have only intensified our commitment to our values, including safety, quality and integrity, because we know lives depend on what we do."
The announcement of the fix resulted in Boeing shares rising by.6 percent to $354.44 in afternoon trading. Boeing earnings as well as the company's earnings outlook have been impacted by the grounding of the 737 MAX aircrafts.
The software update for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System abroad its 737 Max crafts have also been flight tested by Boeing for more than 360 hours on 207 flights, the company said. In anticipation of a certification test flight, additional information is being provided by Boeing to the FAA, the company said. It added that this was an important step in securing regulatory approval.
The two deadly crashes involving the 737 Max occurred with Indonesia’s Lion Air and Ethiopia’s Ethiopian Airlines and preliminary investigations into both the accidents pointed to the role of the MCAS installed in the crafts. According to investigators, the nose of the plane was pointed downward at a sharp angle because the MCAS was fed with a faulty sensor reading. That action prevented the pilots of both the crafts from taking control of the aircrafts which resulted in the planes going down.
A discussion on the FAA's process for clearing the 737 MAX to resume service would be conducted by the US aviation regulatory authority with other international civil aviation regulators on Mat 23 in Texas, US. There is hope in the FAA that support for international bodies to approve the 737 MAX soon after it is cleared by the US for flight could be garnered form the meeting, acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell told a congressional panel on Wednesday.
However despite the measures taken by Boeing so far, it is still very unclear when the 737 MAX aircraft would be able to return to the air. 

Christopher J. Mitchell

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