Boeing says 737 MAX update ready

May 16, 2019
737 MAX

Boeing has completed development of the software update, simulator testing and engineering test flights for the 737 MAX.

In a statement, the company said that it has flown the updated software on the 737 MAX for more than 360 hours on 207 flights.

“We are now providing additional information to address the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requests that include additional detail on how pilots interact with the airplane controls and displays in different flight scenarios,” the statement said.

“Once the requests are addressed, we will work with the FAA to schedule their certification test flight and submit final certification documentation.”

US FAA acting administrator Dan Elwell earlier told a committee hearing the agency expected to receive the proposed software fix as soon as next week but did not say how long it would take to get the planes back in the air.

“We will not allow the 737 MAX to fly in the US until it is absolutely safe to so,” he said.

Earlier this month in a major endorsement for the changes made by Boeing to the 737 MAX,  the world’s largest pilots’ union said it will not ask the US regulator the FAA to require additional mandatory simulator training on the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) scenarios before pilots can fly the aircraft again.

According to Aviation Week, The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) will just recommend scenario training as part of routine recurrent training.

Aviation Week said that ALPA “will make its views known in comments on a draft of proposed minimum 737 MAX training standards out for public comment. The Flight Standardization Board (FSB) draft report does not recommend simulator sessions as part of transition training for 737 Next Generation pilots upgrading to the 737 MAX, opting for less costly computer-based training instead.”

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It adds: “A person with knowledge of ALPA’s comments tells Aviation Week that the pilots’ union will go a step further, calling for hands-on simulator training at the earliest scheduled opportunity. Under this scenario, MAX pilots would fly simulated MCAS-related scenarios within a year or so as MAX simulators become available, but not before they return to line operations once flight restrictions on the model are lifted. Some regulators are expected to require simulator training as conditions for removing their operations bans, and Air Canada has said it is already using its MAX simulator—the only one in airline hands in North America—to run its 420 MAX pilots through MCAS-related scenarios.”