Boeing unveiled an overhaul Wednesday to a software system and the pilot training of its signature 737 MAX plane, marking its most direct attempt to fix an element of the plane’s original design that investigators believe led to two recent crashes.
Aviation authorities have fingered the software as a leading factor in the Lion Air crash last October. Investigators have drawn similarities between the flight data from that crash and the Ethiopian Airlines crash earlier this month that killed 157 people
The official said the company has conducted a number of its own “thorough audits” since the Lion Air crash and found “nothing that concerns us.”
The official stopped short of saying that the update unveiled Wednesday indicated that the original software was inadequate.
The software update will affect software known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, which is designed to automatically command a plane down if it senses an imminent stall
Boeing is expected to submit the final compliance documents for the update to regulators later this week.
Boeing only rolled out the software update now, after the second crash, because “we wanted to get it right,” the first Boeing official said Wednesday.
Software updates to the plane will take about an hour, and pilots will have to have to complete a new, more rigorous layer of computer-based training before being allowed to fly the plane, Sinnett said.