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Boeing dealing with second software problem on troubled 737 Max jets

06 April, 2019, 06:31 | Author: Taylor George
  • First preliminary report of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 released

The March 10 crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 killed all 157 passengers and crew on the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet. "As we learn more about the accident and findings become available, we will take appropriate action", the USA agency said in a statement.

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Boeing is now working on a software update for the 737 Max's control system that will dial back the intrusiveness of MCAS.

Similarities quickly emerged between the crash and that of an Indonesian Lion Air 737 Max 8 flight in October a year ago which killed 189 people.

"We at Boeing are sorry for the lives lost in the recent 737 accidents and are relentlessly focused on safety to ensure tragedies like this never happen again", the tweet read.

A preliminary report on the Ethiopian Airlines crash released on Thursday did not directly blame the MCAS, but did speak of the plane's constant and uncontrollable nose-diving, which could have been caused by the software if it were fed false data from a damaged sensor. The aircraft, which was headed to Nairobi, Kenya, crashed in a village southeast of the Ethiopian capital, killing all 149 passengers and 8 crew members on board.

A 33-page preliminary report released Thursday by the Ethiopian Ministry of Transport's Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau revealed that the American-made aircraft had a valid certificate of airworthiness, the crew were licensed and qualified to conduct the flight and the plane's takeoff appeared normal.

Ethiopian minister of transport, Dagmawit Moges, while giving update report on the bad incident at a news conference on Thursday, April 4, said the crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft.

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Boeing's checklist for pilots tells them to "control airplane pitch attitude manually with control column and main electric trim as needed" before hitting cut-out switches and turning to a rarely used manual wheel to keep the plane's nose in the proper position.

Boeing is working on a software upgrade for the maneuvering system MCAS, as well as training courses for 737 MAX pilots.

Getting the 737 Max back in the air and restoring public confidence in the aircraft is crucial to the future of Boeing, a critical driver of the U.S. economy that is locked in an existential duel with Europe's Airbus. The company expects to submit the planned fix to the FAA for approval "in the coming weeks", reflecting a delay from its earlier timeline.

The history of our industry shows most accidents are caused by a chain of events.

The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) is created to automatically lower the aircraft's nose if it detects a stall or loss of airspeed.

"Safety is our responsibility, and we own it".

A grand jury convened by US prosecutors last month subpoenaed a former Boeing engineer demanding he provide testimony and documents related to the 737 Max.

The question that has been raised - and it also stems from prior investigations - is why Boeing sold certain fundamental safety features needed by pilots in the cockpit as "extras"? That may not be surprising, given that Ethiopian Airlines had just five of the planes, including ET-AVJ. The plane was also set to unusually high thrust, data suggested.

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