The return to commercial flight of the grounded 737 Max planes of Boeing could be delayed further because of a new software issue that was identified while undertaking a technical review of the proposed update to the 7373 Max planes in Iowa last weekend. The company has said that it is trying to address the issue.
“We are making necessary updates,” Boeing said in a statement. The problem is related to a software power-up monitoring function that helps in verification of some system monitors are operating correctly, said officials at the planemaker.
Reports said that it was found that one of the monitors was not being initiated correctly, Company officials added that the monitor check is prompted by a software command when the airplane or the system power up and makes appropriate indication about whether maintenance is needed.
There was no immediate comment from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This news was first reported by ABC News on Friday.
After the global grounding of its 737 Max plane in March last year following two fatal crashes involving the planes within a span of just five months from each other, Boeing has temporarily stopped production of the plane starting this month. 346 people were killed in the tow crashes.
Information about how Boeing will be addressing the issue is being awaited by the US regulators. It is unlikely that the approvals for 737 Max planes to fly again will be given by the FAA unitil March and it could happen as late as April this year, said reports quoting information from US officials.
Cancellations of flights involving the 737 Max planes would be extended early June, American Airlines Group Inc and Southwest Airlines Co (AAL.O) both said earlier this week.
A wiring issue that could potentially cause a short circuit on the grounded 737 MAX is being reviewed by them, the FAA and Boeing said earlier this month. Te major issue that is being reviewed is to examine whether two bundles of wiring are too close together, reports said quoting officials with knowledge of the matter. They claimed that under such a situation there can be a short circuit which can possible also lead to a crash of the plane if no appropriate response was made by a pilot to address the situation at hand.
A 737 MAX software documentation audit was initiated in November last year and officials from US and European aviation safety regulators held meeting with Boeing in an effort to complete the audit. For the process of certification for increasingly complex aircraft software, it is crucial that such is done perfectly and hence this process can lead to delays.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)