It seems that the software enhancement necessary to be made to the 737 Max aircraft that Boeing had expected to roll out to airlines this month will take longer than expected. The software fix the company needs to address is an element from the plane’s original design that investigator believe led to two recent crashes that happened in less than five months. The company’s jets will remain grounded for a few weeks after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announcement that reads:
“The FAA expects to receive Boeing’s final package of its software enhancement over the coming weeks for FAA approval. Time is needed for additional work by Boeing as the result of an ongoing review of the 737 Max Flight Control System to ensure that Boeing has identified and appropriately addressed all pertinent issues.”
The FAA also stated they have created a joint task force with international aviation regulators and NASA to review the Boeing 737 Max fix. Boeing said it would submit its safety changes for review in the following weeks, however they did not mention why the timeline had changed. Sources say they have discovered “an additional piece to address” in the new software, and that integrating new flight control software on a complex aircraft takes time. Their statement said:
“Safety is our first priority, and we will take a thorough and methodical approach to the development and testing of the update to ensure we take the time to get it right.”
American Airlines announced that they have been forced to cancel dozens of flights daily due to the delay created by the fix. Also, the FAA said it is reviewing satellite data and physical evidence that showed similarities between the Lion Air flight that crashed in October and the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed earlier in March. A preliminary report on the Ethiopian accident is expected in the coming days.