Delays in Boeing MAX Return Began With Near-Crash in Simulator
It didn't go well
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November 11, 2019 - by Alan Levin for bloomberg.com
- Problem in simulated flight prompted complex computer redesign
- Recertification of grounded jetliner repeatedly pushed back
Boeing Co. engineers were nearly done redesigning software on the grounded 737 MAX in June when some pilots hopped into a simulator to test a few things.
It didn't go well.
A simulated computer glitch caused it to to dive aggressively in a way that resembled the problem that had caused deadly crashes off Indonesia and in Ethiopia months earlier.
That led to an extensive redesign of the plane's flight computers that has dragged on for months and repeatedly pushed back the
date of its return to service, according to people briefed on the work.
The company -- which initially expressed confidence it could complete its application to re-certify the plane with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) within months -- now says it hopes to do that before the end of the year.
Changing the architecture of the jet's twin flight computers, which drive autopilots and critical instruments, has proven far more laborious than patching the system directly involved in 737 MAX crashes,said these people, who asked not to be named speaking about the issue.
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