Boeing to mandate safety alert in 737 MAX software upgrade: sources





By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co will mandate a previously optional cockpit warning light as part of a forthcoming software update to the 737 MAX fleet that was grounded in the wake of two fatal crashes, two officials briefed on the matter said Thursday.

Boeing previously offered the AOA DISAGREE alert, which warns pilots when the "angle of attack" (AOA) readings do not match, but it was not required by regulators. Boeing will now retrofit older planes with the light that did not initially receive it, the officials said. Boeing did not immediately comment Thursday.

There has been a long-running industry debate about how much information should be displayed in the cockpit, notably about the angle at which the wing is slicing through the air.

Federal prosecutors, the Transportation Department's inspector general and U.S. lawmakers are investigating the Federal Aviation Administration's certification of the 737 MAX.

The FAA declined to comment on the software upgrade Thursday but said last week it planned to mandate "design changes" coming from Boeing in its software upgrade by April for the 737 MAX.

Indonesia's Lion Air did not install the warning light. Lion Air Fight 610 crashed in October minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 onboard. The company told Reuters in November it did not install it because it was not required.

The angle is a key flight parameter that must remain narrow enough to preserve lift and avoid an aerodynamic stall. A faulty AOA reading led the doomed Lion Air jet's computer to believe it was stalled, prompting the plane's anti-stall system, called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), to repeatedly push down the plane's nose.

The planemaker has come under fire in the wake of the Lion Air crash for not outlining the automated system, MCAS, in the flight manual for the 737 MAX.

(Graphic: The grounded 737 Max fleet link: https://tmsnrt.rs/2u5sZYI)

(Graphic: Ethiopian Airlines crash link: https://tmsnrt.rs/2Hn6V4k)

(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Sweta Singh in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Eric Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Exclusive: Boeing seeking to reduce scope, duration of some physical tests for new aircraft - sources
Exclusive: Boeing seeking to reduce scope, duration of some physical tests for new aircraft - sources

Boeing Co engineers are reducing the scope and duration of certain costly physical tests used to certify the planemaker's new aircraft, according to industry sources and regulatory officials. As Boeing kicks off the year-long flight testing process on its new 777X, its engineers will cut hours off airborne testing by using computer models to simulate flight conditions, and then present the results to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as part of the basis for certification, according to two people with direct knowledge of the strategy. Reuters could not determine when Boeing decided to move forward with the plan to cut back on physical tests or the extent to which it planned...

U.S. Navy official sees more orders for Boeing P-8A in coming months
U.S. Navy official sees more orders for Boeing P-8A in coming months

The U.S. Navy expects additional U.S. and international orders for the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft in coming months, which should extend production by two years to late 2025, a senior U.S. Navy official told Reuters. The P-8, based on Boeing's 737-800 airframe, conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and shipping interdiction, and also carries electronic support measures, torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and other weapons. It is already operated by the U.S. Navy, Australia and India, and has been ordered by Britain, Norway, New Zealand and South Korea.

Black Boeing employee sues company after finding noose at desk, says "my work life is degrading"
Black Boeing employee sues company after finding noose at desk, says "my work life is degrading"

A black employee at Boeing who says that he has found a noose hanging near his desk, signs near his workspace saying "n-----" and urine covering his desk on separate occasions says that his work life remains "degrading" even after he complained to management, he told ABC News. Curtis Anthony, a quality inspector since 2011 on the 787 Dreamliner at Boeing's North Charleston, South Carolina, plant, is suing the company for an alleged "racially hostile" work environment and for alleged retaliation after he complained about the alleged harassment.

Grounding of Boeing plane hovers over big air show in Paris
Grounding of Boeing plane hovers over big air show in Paris
  • World
  • 2019-06-14 20:53:59Z

Uncertainty over a Boeing jet and apprehension about the global economy hover over the aircraft industry as it prepares for next week's Paris Air Show. In recent boom years, they have become a stage for huge aircraft orders. The Boeing 737 Max has been grounded worldwide for three months after

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Economy

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.