Published: Thu, March 28, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Boeing unveils 737 MAX fix, no FAA nod

Boeing unveils 737 MAX fix, no FAA nod

A Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft declared an emergency landing Tuesday in Florida after experiencing a reported engine problem, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

While investigators have yet to fully determine the cause of the two crashes - Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29, 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019 - anti-stall software added to the 737 Max 8 has become the main point of focus.

No passengers were on board Southwest Airlines Flight 8701, which was being ferried from Orlando International Airport to Victorville, California, for storage, CNN reported.

The airline and the FAA said the plane had a problem with one of its engines, not the flight-control software.

Southwest Airline said in a statement, "The Crew followed protocol and safely landed back at the airport".

Dennis Muilenburg wrote on Tuesday that the company had "thought about the lives lost and the impact it has on people around the globe and throughout the aerospace community" after two deadly crashes involving Boeing 737 Max 8 jets in five months.

An Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 crashed shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa on March 10, killing all 157 people on board. Indonesia's Lion Air and Garuda Indonesia plan to cancel their cumulative $28 billion worth of orders for Boeing's 737 MAX planes.

The pilot will be able to deduce that MCAS is no longer working in the background because the system will show a warning message labelled "AOA disagree", indicating the two sensors are producing values that differ by an excessive margin.

Boeing gathered hundreds of pilots and reporters to unveil the changes to the MCAS stall prevention system, which has been implicated in the tragedies in Ethiopia and Indonesia, as part of a charm offensive to restore the company's reputation.

The announcement comes ahead of Chao's scheduled appearance before the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies subcommittee budget hearing on Wednesday morning.

Elwell said FAA engineers and pilots have tested the update in a simulator and the plane, including recovering from an aerodynamic stall, according to a copy of his prepared remarks obtained by The Associated Press. The plane was taken to a maintenance hangar after landing.

It was the second fatal crash involving the plane. One source familiar with the tests said the FAA is expected to receive the software early this week. Investigations into both crashes are said to be focusing on Boeing's software systems.

After analyzing the Ethiopian Airlines flight's recovered black box, the Ethiopian Transport Ministry said the crash had "clear similarities" with the Lion Air flight.

He said the committee needs to understand what happened with the crashes, how the FAA determined that the Max was airworthy, and "take action to keep something like these tragic crashes from occurring again".

During the Lion Air flight's last minutes, pilots searched in a handbook for a way to stop the plane from nosediving, according to a Reuters report.

The Federal Aviation Administrationconfirmed the emergency landing in a statement.

The incident came barely two weeks after FAA joined several other countries across the world that grounded 737 Max aircraft following the accident.

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