Boeing: New Software for 737 MAX Jets Almost Ready

Boeing says it is close to completing a software upgrade to the anti-stall system on its 737 MAX jets which is suspected to be responsible for two recent deadly crashes.

Boeing executives briefed about 200 pilots and airlines executives in Seattle Wednesday, saying the new software has been extensively tested.

"We are going to do everything we can to make sure that accidents like this never happen again," Boeing engineering vice president Mike Sinnett said.

He added that the company is "deeply affected by the tragic loss of life" in the crash of an Ethiopian 737 MAX 8 two weeks ago, killing 157. Another MAX 8 crashed off Indonesia in October, killing 189.

Investigators say they've seen similarities in both disasters and suspect the anti-stall system on the MAX 8 repeatedly pushed the nose of the planes downward despite the pilots' efforts to keep control.

Boeing says the new software is designed to override any faulty messages coming from the system and make it easier for pilots to counter the system from forcing the nose of the plane downward.

But it still may be a while before the grounded 737 MAX 8 is in the air again.

U.S. federal regulators must give their approval to the upgraded software and pilot training, and the new program must be installed on each individual jet. Approval by regulators in other countries varies.

Boeing said Wednesday it does not need more federal oversight in the way it develops and builds airplanes.

"The 737 is a safe airplane. The 737 family is a safe airplane family and the 737 MAX builds on that history of safety that we have seen for almost 50 years." Sinnett said.

Source: Voice of America

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