The Boeing Company has said it will make two new software updates to the 737 MAX’s flight control computer as it works to win regulatory approval to resume flights after the jet was grounded following two fatal crashes in five months.
The United States planemaker confirmed to Reuters news agency on Tuesday that one issue involves hypothetical faults in the flight control computer microprocessor, which could potentially lead to a loss of control known as a runaway stabiliser, while the other issue could potentially lead to disengagement of the autopilot feature during final approach. Boeing said the software updates will address both issues.
The Federal Aviation Administration said on Tuesday it is in contact with Boeing as it “continues its work on the automated flight control system on the 737 MAX. The manufacturer must demonstrate compliance with all certification standards.”
The largest US planemaker has been dealing with a number of software issues involving the plane that has been grounded since March 2019. Boeing halted production in January.
The company said neither new software issue has been observed in flight. It said in the autopilot issue “flight deck alerts and warnings are already in place to alert the crew if it did”.
Boeing said it does not expect the issues to affect its current forecast of a mid-year return to service for the plane. Boeing said the new software issues are not tied to a key anti-software system known as MCAS faulted in both fatal crashes.