The changes US aircraft manufacturer Boeing has proposed in the wake of two deadly accidents of its top-selling 737 MAX aircraft were deemed “operationally suitable,” according to a draft report released by US regulators Tuesday.
However, Boeing has not yet submitted a planned software fix to the Federal Aviation Administration, the agency said in a statement.
Boeing has been working on a software fix for its anti-stall system following crashes in Ethiopia last month and Indonesia in October that killed nearly 350 people, both shortly after takeoff.
All 737 MAX aircraft have been banned from the world’s skies since days after the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10, and the FAA has said it will not rush to approve the proposed fixes.
Crash investigators have zeroed in on the planes’ anti-stall system, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, which may have erroneously forced the planes down.
Boeing said it has been working on a software upgrade since late last year, and announced additional changes after last month’s deadly crash.
The FAA said a Flight Standardization Board evaluated “the modified Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS)” and said the “system was found to be operationally suitable.”
– ‘Aided instruction’ –
The report, which notes the differences in the MAX compared to prior 737 models, and any new training requirements, will be open for public comment for 14 days.
“After that, the FAA will review those comments before making a final assessment. Boeing Co. is still expected in the coming weeks to submit the final software package for certification,” the agency said.
Because the 737 MAX is substantially similar to prior versions of the aircraft, pilots are not required to undergo extensive additional training, however the report added the MCAS to the list of items that require “aided instruction,” such as videos or computer-based tutorials.
The grounding has put Boeing under increasing pressure, forcing it to halt deliveries of the aircraft. And US airlines are facing hundreds of daily flight cancelations through the summer, the peak travel season.
The MCAS was developed specifically for the 737 MAX, because its heavier engines created aerodynamic issues. But it apparently was designed to engage when alerted by a single sensor.
US pilots complained after the crash in October that they had not been fully briefed on the system.
The Ethiopian probe appeared to confirm suspicions about the MCAS, with data echoing that from the crash of the Indonesian Lion Air flight.
The full report has not been publicly released but, according to a draft copy seen by AFP, shortly after take-off a sensor recording the level of the plane began transmitting faulty data, prompting the autopilot system to point the nose downward.
Everyone is baffled by Trump’s rambling rant about flushing toilets ’10 times, 15 times’
Another day, another truly baffling series of words coming from President Donald Trump’s mouth.
Speaking at a White House meeting on Friday about small business and regulation, Trump went on one of his trademark riffs, touching on a number of subjects with the clarity of a muddy puddle. He seemed to be referring to a series of complaints that have been raised over the years about various consumer product regulations (a favorite topic of Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky) but without making a coherent point about any of them.
Read the whole stream of consciousness rant to get a sense of what it was like:
Adam Schiff pushes Pence to declassify aide’s secret information — implying it might be embarrassing or illegal
House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) sent a letter on Friday to Vice President Mike Pence urging him to declassify the entirety of his Sept. 18 call with President Volodymyr Zelensky for use in the impeachment inquiry.
Though the vice president’s office, along with the rest of the administration, has stonewalled the impeachment inquiry’s requests for documents, Schiff’s committee obtained information about the Sept. 18 call through Jennifer Williams, a Pence aide who has already testified. Initially, Schiff explained, Williams testified about Pence’s call and did not assert that any part of it was classified. When she testified publicly, however, she said Pence’s office had since determined that the call was classified. She later sent the committee a “supplemental submission” after reviewing “materials” that refreshed her memory about the call — and it’s that supplemental submission that Schiff would like to see declassified.
‘I haven’t had a personal cell phone for years’: Trump demands retraction from CNN — in tweet sent from his iPhone
On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump had spoken to Rudy Giuliani over unsecured phone lines.
If he was using an unsecured phone to talk to Giuliani about Ukraine, Trump would effectively be allowing the Russians to listen in.
CNN confirmed the unsecured phone use, reporting "President Donald Trump has continued to use his personal cell phone to make calls, despite repeated warnings from his staff that the practice could leave him vulnerable to foreign surveillance, multiple officials told CNN."