Boeing 737 Max 8 makes emergency landing in Orlando, Fla

28 March, 2019, 00:57 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • A Wednesday press conference from Boeing briefed reporters on software changes to the 737 MAX

It would cost $1.8 billion and take 10,000 new employees for the US aviation regulator to handle all aircraft certification internally, the agency's chief told a Senate panel on Wednesday, answering questions after two Boeing 737 MAX crashes on how new planes are approved for flight.

Southwest said the plane experienced an engine problem "shortly after take-off".

The plane-maker says the anti-stall system, which is believed to have repeatedly forced the nose lower in at least one of the accidents, in Indonesia last October, would only do so one time after sensing a problem, giving pilots more control.

"The Crew followed protocol and safely landed back at the airport".

Boeing announced on Wednesday changes to its 737 MAX planes. Boeing will also hold another meeting with pilots and others to discuss the software fix. Two of the jets have crashed in the past six months in Indonesia and Ethiopia with deadly consequences, and investigators are examining the role of flight control software that Boeing created to prevent aerodynamic stalls.

The acting head of the Federal Aviation Administration will appear Wednesday before a Senate subcommittee, where he's expected to face tough questions about the agency's actions following two plane crashes off the cost of Indonesia and in Ethiopia.

Software designers at Boeing developed the update to the system after extensive engineering analysis, design, and verification, the official said, and first submitted a proposed certification plan for the update to the FAA on January 21. According to some media reports, the Lion Air captain was hastily looking through the plane's technical documentation trying to figure out how to switch off MCAS, which was reportedly pushing the plane's nose down.

The planes in the two fatal crashes displayed similar flight profiles - steep dives and recoveries before the pilots apparently lost the ability to override the automated system. The FAA has allowed airlines to ferry the 737 MAX if there are no passengers on board. The Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10 killed 157 people.

Boeing is still manufacturing the plane - and maintains the aircraft is safe - but is pausing deliveries to customers for the time being.

The MCAS, or Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, was installed in the MAX because they are heavier than in the previous version of the 737.

On Wednesday, the industry officials at the gathering will hear a presentation from the company's chief pilot for commercial airplanes, Craig Bomben, and Mike Sinnett, the vice president of airline programs for Boeing Commercial planes, according to a Boeing spokesman. He said the decision was based on information that the Ethiopian Airlines flight path resembled that of the Lion Air crash.

A joint investigation by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, France's aviation investigative authority BEA and Ethiopia's Transport Ministry is expected to release a preliminary report into the Ethiopian crash this week. Investigations into both crashes are said to be focusing on Boeing's software systems. "And I expect the committee to be asking the FAA about is it ceding too much responsibility to a private party with financial interest rather than carrying out its own responsibility to ensure the safety of the flying public", said Cruz.



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