20 MAY 2019
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A software update for the Boeing B737 MAX fleet has been completed, the company said last week, raising hopes the aircraft could re-enter service this summer. The fleet was grounded in March after B737 MAXs were involved in two fatal accidents.
Boeing said it was submitting a plan on pilot training to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and would work with the organisation to schedule its certification test flight.
The FAA is planning a meeting on Thursday (23 May) in Texas, with regulators from around the world to update them on reviews of the software fix and on the pilot training programme.
US airlines have said they hope the aircraft will fly this summer. Southwest and American, the two largest US operators, withdrew them initially from their schedules until 5 August and 19 August but could bring them back if they are approved earlier.
Boeing said the software upgrade and associated pilot training would add “layers of protection” to prevent erroneous data from triggering a stall-recovery system called MCAS, which was activated in aircraft before they crashed (BTN 18 March).
The company said it had now test-flown the B737 MAX with updated software for more than 360 hours on 207 flights.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Neil Munro, UK
Why not teach the pilots how to fly. Stick and rudder. Back to basics.