Boeing found a new glitch in the 737 MAX. This time, the glitch is in software used during the start-up process, said a person familiar with the matter.
New glitch, not related to MCAS
As reported first by ABC News, Boeing is making the necessary updates under the gaze of the Federal Aviation Administration. The manufacturer will keep its customers and suppliers informed.
The company found the new glitch during a technical review. Boeing found that the software supposed to monitor other systems did not start correctly. “It’s similar to the steps any computer might make when first turned on,” said CNN.
The source said the issue is not related to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). The MCAS is the software related to the two fatal crashes that killed 346 people in October 2018 and March 2019. This software could push down the nose of a plane, helping pilots to avoid a stall. However, when it erroneously activated, pilots could no longer control the plane and the results were disastrous.
It is uncertain if this will delay the return of the MAX
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration hasn’t recertified the single-aisle aircraft of Boeing. It is uncertain if this new glitch will delay even more the return of the MAX to commercial operation.
“We continue to work with other international aviation safety regulators to review the proposed changes to the aircraft,” said the agency.
FAA grounded the 737 MAX on 13 March 2019, just three days after the crash of the flight ET302 of Ethiopian Airlines. Meanwhile, Boeing works on an update to the MCAS software. The US manufacturer also reduced the monthly production of its best-seller airplane.
The billion-dollar crisis
The crisis is costing billions of USD to Boeing. For example, a bunch of airlines have agreed to compensation from Boeing. With over 370 Boeing 737 MAX planes in service and dozens more due to be delivered, the longer it drags on, the more money airlines lose.
Also, Boeing can’t deliver any 737 MAX aircraft. That’s the reason the company halted the production altogether.
But the airlines hit back at Boeing on a different front: orders. In 2019, the company ended with negative commercial airplane orders. The order book for the MAX shrank by 183 planes, as The Verge reported. Moreover, Malaysia Airlines suspended this week the jet deliveries of the troubled family.
Finally, the crisis shook Boeing to its core. The CEO of the company, among other top heads, resigned before 2019 ended. Now, David Calhoun is the new director and president of the US manufacturer
Before the two crashes, the 737 MAX was on-route to become the most important aircraft in Boeing’s history by numbers. As the company says, “the 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history with about 5,000 orders from more than 100 customers worldwide.“