Muilenburg addresses new risk found on 737 MAX


A week after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration admitted finding additional flaws in the Boeing 737 MAX software update, the company’s CEO Denis Muilenburg took to social media to address the issue. 

The FAA found a “potential risk” while evaluating Boeing safety update for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) on 737 MAX planes. The authority announced the news via a statement on June 26, 2019. 

The Boeing company has already confirmed that FAA found new issues with the software update. “Boeing agrees with the FAA’s decision and request, and is working on the required software,” it noted in a statement on the same day. “Addressing this condition will reduce pilot workload by accounting for a potential source of uncommanded stabilizer motion”.

A week later, on July 3, 2019, a video was published on Boeing CEO’s social media account in which he reaffirms that an “additional flight condition” has been found. Muilenburg states that “last week” an issue was found “through our comprehensive review process with the FAA”. Boeing is already developing “this additional” software which would reduce pilot workload “and ensure the safety of the airplane”. 

Meanwhile, the 737 MAX certification effort continues. “In parallel, our work continues with regulators to complete as many elements of the certification process as possible as we develop this additional software,” Muilenburg states in the video. 

On June 26, 2019, Muilenburg addressed Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302  crashes at the Aspen Ideas Festival 2019. “Anytime there is an airplane accident, it involves a chain of events and we are spending time with investigators to understand every dimension of that”, Boeing’s CEO said, adding that MCAS, being “one of the items” in this chain of events,  “added to the workload” to the pilots. 

“[…]we know that there are some improvements that we can make to that software,” said Muilenburg. “We have identified some areas where we are going to make some improvements to the airplane. That includes updates to the software that we are very confident in, as we’ve been flight testing that final software”.

On July 3, 2019, Boeing announced it would provide $100 million for Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 victims’ families and communities.  The funds would be distributed over multiple years in collaboration with local governments and non-profit organizations.


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