In his first public speech as an undercover Airlines 737 MAX crash which killed all 157 aboard March 10, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said additional tests are anticipated in the coming weeks as the planemaker works to regain the confidence of its customers and the flying public.
Boeing, combating its biggest crisis in years, has been growing an update to software that’s under scrutiny in the Ethiopian Airlines accident along with also a Lion Air 737 MAX crash which killed all 189 on board Oct. 29.
The world’s biggest planemaker is under pressure to convince MAX operators and international regulators that the aircraft, which was grounded worldwide in March, is more safe to fly again.
Muilenburg said he joined one of 96 test flights during which Boeing crew performed different scenarios that exercised the applications changes in multiple flight conditions within 159 hours of air time.
“The software upgrade served as designed,” he said, without indicating when Boeing will send the fix to global regulators to get their review, which can be expected to continue around 90 days.
Boeing is working to deal with a glitch when independent software is incorporated into the system that was discovered during an internal inspection, raising questions how long until it submits the upgrade for certification.
First injury investigation reports reveal a 737 anti-stall system triggered by bad data from an integral airflow detector was”one link in a longer chain of events” from the 2 crashes, Muilenburg said in a leadership forum at Dallas.
“We all know we could break this string link. It’s our responsibility to eliminate this threat.”
Last week Boeing cut its yearly 737 production by almost 20 per cent, signalling it didn’t anticipate aviation authorities to allow the airplane back in the air anytime soon.
Chicago-based Boeing has not received any new orders for the 737 MAX because the crash in March, nor it could make deliveries of the grounded aircraft.
The 737 MAX was considered the probable narrowbody workhorse for international airlines for decades to come. There were more than 300 MAX jetliners in operation in the time of the Lion Air crash and about 4,600 more on order.
Muilenburg joined Boeing in 1985, became CEO in July 2015 and chairman of the board in March 2016.