News and HeadlinesNational News


FAA: Boeing 737 MAX to get software update

Posted at 7:51 PM, Mar 20, 2019

Boeing has developed a software patch and pilot training program to address issues with the Boeing 737 MAX identified in the October Lion Air crash, the Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday.

The FAA and other airplane regulators worldwide grounded the 737 MAX a week ago following a crash in Ethiopia. The agency said data and physical evidence shows similarities between the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the Lion Air crash less than six months ago.

On Wednesday, the FAA provided an incremental update on its fix to the plane, which it has previously said will be rolled out "no later than April 2019."

"The FAA is aware that Boeing is developing a Service Bulletin that would specify the installation of new flight control computer operational program software," the FAA said in an international notice.

"Boeing has also developed flightcrew training related to this software," it said. "The FAA's ongoing review of this software installation and training is an agency priority, as will be the roll-out of any software, training, or other measures to operators of the 737 MAX."

The FAA has previously said the updates will address the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, known as MCAS. Investigators are probing whether faulty data coming into that system drove the Lion Air plane into a steep dive that the pilots were unable to overcome. The FAA and others have said data shows similarities between the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes.

"The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR) information have been downloaded from the units and are in possession of the Ethiopian authorities," the FAA said in the Wednesday notice.

Earlier on Wednesday, the French authorities told CNN the so-called black boxes will be analyzed by Ethiopian investigators.