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U.S. airlines reviewing Boeing 737 MAX upgrade

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 23, 2019 - Duration: 02:02s

U.S. airlines reviewing Boeing 737 MAX upgrade

Teams from the three U.S. airlines that own 737 MAX jets were heading to the Boeing factory in Renton, Washington, to review a software upgrade on Saturday, even as Southwest Airlines began parking its 34 MAXs near the California desert.

Conway G.

Gittens reports.

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U.S. airlines reviewing Boeing 737 MAX upgrade

Southwest has 34... American Airlines: 24... and United: 14.

That's the number of Boeing 737 MAX planes owned by the only U.S. air carriers to fly the jet that has had two deadly crashes in five months.

Officials from each airline told Reuters, their representatives are meeting with Boeing this weekend to go over the software upgrade that's supposed to correct a fatal flaw.

The software glitch is believed to be the cause of the Ethiopian Airlines crash nearly two weeks ago and the crash of an Indonesian Lion Air flight back in October.

This weekend's meetings are a sign Boeing is close to finalizing the correction, meant to change how much authority is given to a new anti-stall system developed for the plane.

Southwest's delegation will include experts from its technical pilot and training teams who will review documentation and updated training procedures.

The airline has started moving its planes to one location to make the upgrade easier.

Pilots at American Airlines told Reuters they're planning to do some hands-on training this weekend.

United's plans weren't entirely clear.

Aviation investigators point to "clear similarities" between the two crashes, which killed nearly 350 people.

On recordings retrieved of pilots on both flights, investigators heard complaints of flight control problems before the planes went down.

But a clear cause of the accidents has yet to be determined.

The entire fleet has been grounded worldwide.

Getting the three U.S. air carriers to approve the fix is just one step in a long process.

The software upgrade will still have to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as regulators in other countries.

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