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Boeing unveils software upgrade for 737 MAX

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 27, 2019 - Duration: 02:03s

Boeing unveils software upgrade for 737 MAX

Boeing revealed the software fixes it plans for the grounded 737 MAX, the type of aircraft involved in two fatal crashes in five months, but the Federal Aviation Administration is not yet on board with the upgrade.

Conway G.

Gittens reports.

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Boeing unveils software upgrade for 737 MAX

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): MIKE SINNETT, VICE PRESIDENT OF PRODUCT STRATEGY AND DEVELOPMENT, BOEING: "We mourn this loss of life and we are going to do everything we can do to ensure that accidents like these never happen again." That's Boeing VP Mike Sinnett announcing the fix for the software glitch believed to be the cause of two deadly crashes of the 737 MAX plane in five months.

The upgrade unveiled Wednesday will prevent the plane's anti-stall system from automatically pushing the nose of the plane lower, once the pilot indicates that's not the direction the plane should be heading.

That's not the only change.

Two airflow sensors will now be used, and if they don't agree - the automated system will switch off, giving the pilot more control of the plane.

And pilots will be given extra computer-based training.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): MIKE SINNETT, VICE PRESIDENT OF PRODUCT STRATEGY AND DEVELOPMENT, BOEING: "We're working with pilots and industry officials, we have 200 of them today in our Renton facility and we'll be spending time today to explain the updates we are making to the 737 MAX, to get their input and to earn their trust." Boeing has been under intense scrutiny since the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight in March and a Lion Air Flight in October, resulted in nearly 350 deaths and forced global regulators to ground the entire fleet.

Investigators told Reuters they found "similarities" between the crashes, but an official cause has yet to be determined in either crash.

Shares of Boeing rallied Wednesday on hope the upgrade will restore faith in the 737 MAX.

That aircraft had been so successful there is an order backlog worth half a trillion dollars waiting to be filled.

But Boeing now has to win over safety regulators around the world.

The Federal Aviation Administration Wednesday said it has not granted approval for the upgrade.

Until that changes - the 737 MAX will remain grounded.

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