During the deadly crash last October, while Boeing 737 Max 8 jet plunged into Java Sea of Indonesia, the company officials said that they were taking a rapid move for modifying the specific aircraft software directly involved in the crash.
After six months, as well as the second MAX 8 crash, the US-based aircraft manufacturer, Boeing has to submit its installation related fix to the regulating administrations. Last week, the pilots and their airline service customers left the meeting of the Federal Aviation Administration without any concept while the proscribed model would fly again. American Airlines pilot Dennis Tajer said after the meeting, “ we’ve taken off our watches and put the calendars in the drawer”.
What is taking so long? Because fixing the installation of the software is not so easy task. According to an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University professor, Clint Balog who researches on the interaction between computers and humans in the aircraft, “any time you change software code, it’s a major issue ”, as well as he added, “if you change even one small thing in a code, it can have downstream implications ”.
The anti-stall device of the MAX models is called Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System which is directly involved in the deadly Lion Air crash on October and last month’s Ethiopian Airlines disaster, which happened during the ongoing software fixing. A modification converts to the more complicated situation than Boeing forecasted, both technically and politically.
On Wednesday night, through a video message, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the company had ended its last test flight and was prepared to move ahead with the certification. The attempt, he said to make the 737 MAX “ one of the safest aircraft ever to fly”.
His company requires to assure the recent severely probed FAA – as well as cynical international regulators – which the fix is safe and competent of being used in the MAX 8 without any requirement of costly flight-simulator training for the pilots, as the company has pledged customers. That could demonstrate tricky in the current circumstances, told by Richard Aboulafia, an aircraft consultant and Vice President at Teal Group in Fairfax, Virginia.
Aboulafia said, “ I suspect the time spent so far is less about creating optimal software and more about proving to regulators that it’s OK”. The custom of non-US aircraft regulators delaying to the FAA’s judgment calls is “hanging by a thread. The system now has many agencies who are determined to show that they have independent oversight. ”