World

Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to get software upgrade by end of month

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It's believed the new software will be ready by the end of the month.

Airlines around the world are expected to receive new software for the currently-grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, after the plane was involved in two separate crashes within six months. 

The BBC says its seen documents that show the software update will limit the operation of the MCAS system, and will be ready by the end of the month. 

As Boeing faces its biggest crisis in years following the two deadly crashes it has announced a shake-up of its management, bringing in a new vice president of engineering while dedicating another top executive to the aircraft investigations. 

The shakeup showed how the world's largest planemaker was freeing up engineering resources as it faces scrutiny during crash investigations while also maintaining production of its money-spinning 737 single-aisle aircrafts.

The worldwide grounding of the aircraft follows the tragic crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight to Nairobi earlier this month, killing all 157 people on board. 

A funeral for plane crash victims in Addis Ababa
A funeral for Ethiopian Airlines victims has been held in Addis Ababa, as the crash probe continues. (AAP)
AP

Safety concerns immediately arose, after the crash's striking similarities to a Lion Air flight last year, which crashed off the coast of Indonesia.

Both flights used the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, and both crashed minutes after take-off.  

The MCAS system which is expected to be limited in the upgrade, was the system used by a Lion Air 737 Max.   

After an early inspection of the Ethiopian Airlines crash, investigators said there were "clear similarities" between it and the Lion Air Flight 610, which killed 189 people.

The US Federal Aviation Administration also revealed satellite-based tracking data which showed similarities.

Inspectors are now analysing data from the aircraft's flight recorders, which was downloaded by experts in France earlier this week.

Ethiopia Plane Crash
Boeing's 737 Max 8 aircraft faces scrutiny after the Ethiopian Airlines crash killed all 157 aboard. (AAP)
AAP

In an open letter on the Boeing's website, company CEO Dennis Muilenburg said: "soon we’ll release a software update and related pilot training for the 737 MAX that will address concerns discovered in the aftermath of the Lion Air Flight 610 accident." 

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"Work is progressing thoroughly and rapidly to learn more about the Ethiopian Airlines accident and understand the information from the airplane’s cockpit voice and flight data recorders."

Changes will also be made to the cockpit warning systems, and the flight crew operating manual.

New computer-based training for pilots will also be offered. 

Source AFP - SBS, AAP - SBS

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