Boeing, US regulator weigh software fix on 737 Max after crash

A safety feature added to the updated 737 Max, which was designed to prevent pilots from losing control, has been implicated by Indonesian investigators in a Lion Air jet's sudden dive into the Java sea after taking off from Jakarta on Oct 29, 2018.
A safety feature added to the updated 737 Max, which was designed to prevent pilots from losing control, has been implicated by Indonesian investigators in a Lion Air jet's sudden dive into the Java sea after taking off from Jakarta on Oct 29, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Boeing Co and US aviation regulators are weighing whether to issue a software fix to the 737 Max, the aircraft type involved in a recent crash in Indonesia to ensure that the plane won't dive aggressively without pilot commands.

Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration "continue to evaluate the need for software and or other design changes to the aircraft", the agency said in a statement on Tuesday (Nov 13).

A safety feature added to the updated 737 Max, which was designed to prevent pilots from losing control, has been implicated by Indonesian investigators in a Lion Air jet's sudden dive into the Java sea after taking off from Jakarta on Oct 29.

The pilots were attempting to deal with several malfunctions when the crash occurred, the investigators said.

All 189 people aboard died in the high-velocity impact.

The FAA and the manufacturer are also evaluating the need for other upgrades, "including operating procedures and training," the FAA said in the statement.

The FAA on Nov 7 issued an emergency airworthiness directive ordering US airlines to incorporate information about the feature in their pilot manuals.

 

Two US pilot unions at carriers flying the Max said on Monday that the company didn't adequately spell out how the new system worked in training and manuals.