Boeing yet to submit 737 Max fix; says US Aviation regulator

Boeing said it has made fixes to the software that appears to have played a role in two fatal overseas crashes of the 737 Max, the new version of its best-selling airplane.

Regulators from China and around the world will meet Thursday in Texas to review software updates for the Boeing 737 MAX and to determine steps to assure a safe return of the airliner to commercial service.

Following this meeting, the FAA will take a call on whether or not to end the grounding and by when these aircraft can fly again.

"Shame on you... we're going to call you out on it", Tajer said.

China is a wildcard.

Mike Sinnett, a Boeing vice president, said Boeing felt pilots did not need to know more about the plane's system automated anti-stall system, identified as having misfired in investigations into both crashes, given how unlikely it was considered to misfire.

Previously, crash investigators said bad sensor data were the culprits for both the crashes in Ethiopia in March and in Indonesia in October. However, those reports have however not yet been confirmed by the companies involved.

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Boeing said it is now providing additional information to address Federal Aviation Administration requests that include details on how pilots interact with the aircraft's controls and displays in different flight scenarios.

Long considered a "gold standard" internationally, the FAA's reputation has suffered amid scrutiny of the oversight process and reports it allowed Boeing to effectively self-certify some features of the 737 MAX.

A spokesman for the European Union aviation safety agency did not respond to a request for comment but told the Financial Times that they are working to return the plane "to service as soon as possible, but only once there is complete reassurance that it is safe". Those systems were not connected with the crashes, but as Adamczyk says of the Boeing business relationship, "they are a very, very important customer for us".

Ahead of the gathering, acting FAA chief Daniel Elwell said he couldn't predict when the MAX fleet would be back in the air, stressing that the return to flight would be driven by analysis rather than the calendar. Southwest Airlines and American Airlines are the biggest operators of the 737 Max globally. Elwell has said the FAA needed hard evidence of a link between the two accidents, while other countries said they were acting out of caution.

"They had wired that thing so that is was irrecoverable", he said. The company, however, hasn't submitted final paperwork to regulators or scheduled a mandatory test flight with FAA experts.

Another key question is whether other regulators have different expectations on pilot training than the FAA, which has said simulator training is not needed for all pilots.

  • Sonia Alvarado