Chicago - Boeing completed the internal trial of the updated anti-stall software of the 737 MAX jets. The aircraft manufacturer is preparing to submit the final report to the FAA before starting certification flights.
“We’re making steady progress toward certification,” the Chief Executive Muilenburg said in a video released today by the company.
With this video, Boeing officially announced from first hand the end of 203 hours of flight testing for the updated software.
We’re making steady progress on the path to certification for our 737 MAX software update thanks to the work of our Boeing pilots, engineers and technical experts. pic.twitter.com/DIHrhG2OOi— Dennis A. Muilenburg (@BoeingCEO) 18 Nisan 2019
Muilenburg has been involved in some flight tests in person to promote confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX jets. Boeing is working hard to allay safety concerns of its customers and travelers after two crashes within five months, which killed 346 people.
The anti-stall system software of the aircraft has been redesigned by Boeing to prevent the repeated nose-down commands that flight crews failed to recover in Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accidents.
In addition to this correction, the system which is known as MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) would no longer be triggered due to a false Angle of Attack (AOA) data provided by only one sensor, as it was the case in both accidents.
Is Automation Good or Bad?
Many people, even pilots distrust automation software. According to a MAX 8 pilot who spoke to Bloomberg news agency, most pilots would prefer to fly the airplane manually, whenever they need to feel what’s actually going on with the aircraft.
The use of automation software and AI (Artificial Intelligence) is expanding, not only to fly planes but to drive cars. According to experts, such systems can prevent mistakes that would arise due to fatigue and ease the job of human pilots.
But the risks to emerge when they are not designed to hand over the flight control back to the pilots whenever needed, as in the case of the Lion Air and Ethiopian crashes.
Unlike rival Airbus, Boeing had so far positioned pilots as the only authority to say the final word while flying its planes. The MCAS software became the only exception of this tradition so far, which obviously was a fatal mistake.