Boeing is working on a software upgrade to a software system whose malfunction may have caused the plane crash in Indonesia in October which killed 189 people.
Rabat – After two deadly plane crashes in recent months, Boeing said it will unveil a software upgrade for its 737 Max aircraft in 10 days.
The cause of the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10 has not yet been determined, but the Boeing company announced that it is fixing its jets’ Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).
The MCAS is a system of safety sensors and software that Boeing designed for its 737 Max to prevent the aircraft from entering into a stall, flaps-retracted, low-speed, nose-up flight.
“It uses airspeed and other sensor data to compute when a dangerous condition has developed and then trims the aircraft nose down.”
There are steps a pilot can take if the MCAS turns on in error. However, if the pilot experiences difficulty switching it off, the MCAS will continue to nose the plane down.
The similarities between the Lion Air crash in Indonesia in October 2018 and the Ethiopian Airlines crash have brought attention to the possibility of MCAS malfunctions.
The striking similarities “warrant further investigation of the possibility of a shared cause for the two incidents that need to be better understood and addressed,” said the US-based Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The FAA and Boeing had already implicated MCAS as the likely cause of the Lion Air crash which killed 189 people. When the Ethiopian Airlines flight on the same Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed on Sunday, six minutes after take-off, it killed all 157 people on board, including two Moroccans.
Boeing said that after ten days, it will have fixed its MCAS software for the 737 MAX aircraft.
All Boeing 737 MAX planes are currently temporarily grounded at Boeing’s recommendation.