The Boeing Company has announced software fixes for the 737 MAX aircraft as it is still widely suspended from flying after an Ethiopian Airlines plane of the said model crashed minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 on board. This happened a few months after a Lion Air flight crashed in Indonesia.
The aircraft manufacturer will make it a standard in all 737 MAX planes to have a warning system that was previously a paid optional upgrade, reports the Time. It adds that neither Boeing aircraft in the two crashes featured the warning system, but that the fix to install this as a standard does not mean an admission of fault for either of the incidents.
Moreover, Boeing will also upgrade another software called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). This system will trigger the nose of an aircraft to automatically lean downward if sensors detect that it is taking off too rapidly. Time says the software fix will disable this feature if sensors receive conflicting data.
Both the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airline crashes found that 737 MAX planes have nosedived prior to crashing.
“Following the first incident in Indonesia, we followed the results of the independent authorities looking at the data, and, as we are always looking for ways to improve, where we find ways to improve, we make those changes to make those improvements,” a company official said.
Boeing said it is planning to turn in a final version of the software to the United States Federal Aviation Administration this week. However, it will have to pass through the FAA approval process before the grounded planes are permitted to take off with the proposed upgrades.
The two crashes occurred less than six months apart, with Lion Air crashing into Indonesian waters in October and the Ethiopian Airline jet plummeting minutes after takeoff earlier this month. A preliminary report on the cause for the recent crash is expected to be released this week.