US aircraft maker Boeing has carried out additional test flights with 737 MAX aircraft with updated software as part of preparations for certification, reported Sputnik news agency, quoting the company’s press service.
“Boeing continues to make steady progress on the path to certification, having completed the official engineering test flight of the software — the final technical flight test prior to the certification flight. Overall, our talented test pilots have made 146 737 MAX flights totaling roughly 246 hours of air time with the updated software, and nearly 90 per cent of our 50-plus MAX operators around the globe have experienced that software update themselves during one of our simulator sessions,” the press service said.
Earlier in the month, Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg said that new anti-crash software on 737 Boeing MAX jets had successfully completed trial runs on 120 test flights with a total duration of 230 hours.
US Federal Aviation Administration’s flight standardisation board examined the company’s software update and found it to be “operationally suitable” and recommended that pilots undergo additional training in the new system.
Two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft have crashed over the past six months — one in Indonesia in October 2018 and another in Ethiopia in March. In the wake of the latest crash, aviation authorities and carriers around the world have either grounded all 737 MAX series aircraft or closed their airspace to them.
The investigations into the incidents are underway but experts believe that the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System could be behind the crashes.