Boeing Finds New Software Issue with 737 Max Plane during Tests

Boeing still plans to re-launch its 737 Max planes back into the skies in mid-2020.
Fabienne Lang
Boeing Max 737 planeBoeing

The issues with the grounded Boeing 737 Max aircraft seem to be never-ending. The company has just shared the news that its engineers discovered a new software problem on its 737 Max planes.

Boeing is still confident that it will manage to fix the issues with its 737 Max planes in time for their planned re-launch in mid-2020.


No significant delay in the aircraft's return

Steve Dickson, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administrator, made the new software flaw public at an industry event in London on Monday. Dickson mentioned that he did not see there being any "significant delay(s)" in the aircraft's re-launch. 

The 737 Max planes were grounded worldwide in March last year following two fatal crashes of the Boeing aircraft, resulting in a total of 346 fatalities

Since then, Boeing has been working hard to update and repair the faulty software that played a role in these two crashes in order to win approval for them to fly again. 

This new issue involves an indicator light linked to the stabilizer rim system that incorrectly lit up in the flight deck during a test. 

Dickson, who's in charge of approving 737 Max updates, also mentioned a key certification flight test that would still take place in a few weeks' time, although that now depends on whether Boeing can repair the new software lighting issue. 

International regulators, such as the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), may differ in their opinions on the terms of the operational return to service of the plane, however, they all agreed on what needed to be repaired. 

Boeing stated that its best estimate for the plane to be back up in the air is close to mid-2020. The FAA could still approve the return of the aircraft before then, however, that has yet to be confirmed. 

Dickson's attention is first and foremost on the proper resolution of these issues, as he stated "I wouldn’t say I’m worried. I want them to take whatever time they need to give us a fulsome and a data-driven proposal."

What remains to be seen is whether or not people would fly with Boeing's 737 Max planes even if all issues are resolved. 


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