Boeing said yesterday (March 16th) that it had completed a software fix for its 737 Max planes, which have been grounded worldwide after the similar crashes of two of the planes months apart, one operated by Ethiopian Airlines in March and the earlier one by Lion Air, that killed a total of 346 people. Boeing said it had flown the 737 Max with the updated software on 207 flights for more than 360 hours. The Federal Aviation Administration and its counterparts in other countries will now review the software fix and judge if they’re satisfied that it would now be safe to allow the planes to fly again.
In both of the crashes, an automated system repeatedly pushed the planes’ noses down because of incorrect sensor readings indicating the plane was in danger of stalling while the pilots struggled to regain control. The software fix will have the system get information from two sensors instead of one, so one bad sensor can’t set it off, and it won’t be as powerful, preventing the steep dives seen in the two crashes when the planes’ noses were pushed down.