Boeing has announced how they plan to fix issues with their 737 Max 8 airplanes, which were grounded worldwide two weeks ago after the model experienced two fatal crashes in under six months. According to Business Insider, during a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Boeing’s vice president of product strategy and development Mike Sinnett promised the company would:
“Do everything that we can do to ensure that accidents like these never happen again” later adding that Boeing is currently, “working with customers and regulators around the world to restore faith in our industry and also to reaffirm our commitment to safety and to earning the trust of the flying public.”
Issues with the 737 Max 8 are thought to stem from a recent design change that required the implementation of a new software system (MCAS) to automatically remedy issues with pitching, issues which resulted from Boeing moving the placement of the plane’s engines on the wing. However, it appears that in the case of the two crashed aircraft, faulty Angle of Attack (AOA) sensors at the front of the plane may have incorrectly triggered the system and caused the aircraft to fly downwards, something pilots of the 737 Max 8 were inefficiently trained to handle (a fact they expressed concerns about), as the system was automatic.
The updates include additional safeguards in the event that AOA sensors issue incorrect data and are geared towards reducing the workload of pilots during emergency situations. Other fixes for MCAS include flight deck indicators for unusual AOA activity, changes in the training process for pilots in regards to the 737 Max control system, and giving pilots the ability to override MCAS to control the plane manually.
The changes come after Boeing implemented “hundreds of hours” of analysis, tests, and simulations. So far the new software has undergone two successful test flights.