Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to get software upgrade by end of month

Boeing says finalizing software upgrade, revising pilot training for 737 Max
Trump Finally Announces FAA Chief Nominee Amid Airline Safety Crisis
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21 March, 2019

Then another Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed, probably for the same reason, this time in Ethiopia. 737 Max for service before two fatal crashes of the jetliner.

The detail could explain how some pilots of the now-controversial 737 MAX planes were able to avoid disaster and others lost control and crashed.

After the Lion Air crash, two US pilots' unions said the potential risks of the system, known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, hadn't been sufficiently spelled out in their manuals or training.

"We can't provide additional comment at this stage due the ongoing investigation on the accident", Lion Air spokesman Danang Prihantoro told Bloomberg.

Also on Wednesday, the Seattle Times, citing unidentified sources, reported the FBI was joining the criminal investigation into the MAX's certification.

Boeing said it would cooperate with the DoT audit. They're also checking if the pilots were trained about the system.

But now, data from the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) indicates the pilots not only struggled to counteract the anti-stall system, but also "scoured a handbook" trying to understand what directed the aircraft's nose down, Reuters reports, quoting three anonymous sources familiar with the CVR contents.

Investigators examining the Indonesian crash are considering how a computer ordered the plane to dive in response to data from a faulty sensor and whether the pilots had enough training to respond appropriately to the emergency, among other factors.

Voice recordings from the cockpit leaked to Reuters showed the first officer reported a "flight control problem" two minutes after taking off from Jakarta, according to a November report.

Bouteflika returns to Algeria as ruling elite turn on leader
A number of protests have also been staged in Switzerland against the Algerian president since he arrived in the country. Nearby, other young Algerians made V-for-victory signs.


Jussie Smollett Indicted On 16 Felony Counts By Chicago Grand Jury
Smollett has remained free on $100,000 bond since his release hours after surrendering to authorities on February 21. Smollett is set to be arraigned March 14, CBS 2 reports.


Nintendo Does VR Now, Again
The VR Starter Set, meanwhile, includes the Switch software, but only the materials needed to build the VR Goggles and Blaster. Nintendo gaming fans will have to wait until 12 April for these VR kits to make it to retail (US date and prices provided).


Critics have questioned the FAA's practice of using employees of aircraft manufacturers to handle some safety inspections.

What investigators really draw attention to in the report is the airspeed and altitude issues the very same aircraft (PK-LQP) experienced during its four previous flights, particularly the one that preceded the day of the crash.

Facing such high-profile scrutiny, Boeing reshuffled executives in its commercial airplanes unit to focus on the crash fallout.

"Our credibility as leaders in aviation is being damaged", wrote Chesley Sullenberger, a USA pilot famed for landing a jet on the Hudson River, saving all 155 people aboard, a decade ago. Near the end, the captain asked the first officer to fly while he checked the manual for a solution.

But they did not pass on all of the information about the problems they encountered to the next crew, the report said.

Ethiopia's civil aviation head Wosenyeleh Hunegnaw told Reuters the investigation was proceeding as quickly as possible within global standards.

For now, regulators have grounded the existing fleet of more than 300 MAX aircraft and deliveries of almost 5,000 more-worth well over $500 billion-are on hold.

Development of the 737 MAX, which offers savings of about 15 percent on fuel, began in 2011 after the successful launch by its main rival of the Airbus A320neo.


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