On Saturday, after looking into what may have caused the two recent 737 Max 8 fatal crashes, Boeing admitted that they found flaws in the Max 8 model's flight simulator.
In a press release, Boeing Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg, emphasised the level of importance awarded the issue: “With safety as our clear priority, we have completed all of the engineering test flights for the software update and are [now] preparing for the final certification flight.”
Reports indicate that there are at least 28 airlines who have purchased, and then subsequently grounded, the Boeing 737 Max in their respective fleets.
ISB reported on Scandinavian low cost airline Norwegian Air choosing to ground its entire 737 Max 8 fleet after two fatal crashes involving the model, then flown by other airlines, occurred in only 5 months. As a consequence of the accidents, 346 people tragically lost their lives.
This had a financial impact on Norwegian Air in that the low-cost airline took a substantial hit, as illustrated by its most recent quarter report of a loss of almost 1.5 billion Norwegian kroner.
As reported, “the airline estimates that the grounding of the 18 [Boeing 737 Max 8] aircrafts has cost them around NOK 500 million.”
The 737 Max 8 accidents
Boeing has looked into what caused the accidents through the use of flight simulations running its current Boeing 737 Max 8 software. According to black box data from the planes involved, there may have been some similarities between the two accidents.
Apparently the automated system Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) that the New York Times summarised as being “designed to help the plane avoid stalling”, failed both times.
New software updates
Boeing has now completed development of the updated software for the 737 MAX, after having found and admitted to a flaw in its ability to recreate all conditions present during the accidents, according to Financial Times.
In Boeing’s most recent statement, Muilenburg said that they are “committed to providing the FAA and global regulators all the information they need, and to getting it right. We’re making clear and steady progress and are confident that the 737 MAX with updated MCAS software will be one of the safest airplanes ever to fly.”
In specifically addressing the recent accidents the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer added that “[t]he accidents have only intensified our commitment to our values, including safety, quality and integrity, because we know lives depend on what we do.”
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