Boeing, FAA weigh software fix on 737 Max plane after Indonesia crash

WASHINGTON • Boeing Co and US aviation regulators are weighing whether to issue a software x for the 737 Max, the aircraft type involved in a deadly crash in Indonesia last month, to ensure that the plane won’t dive aggressively without pilot commands.

The planemaker and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) “continue to evaluate the need for software and or other design changes to the aircraft”, the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

A safety feature added to the updated 737 Max, which was designed to prevent pilots from losing control, has been implicated by Indonesian investigators in a Lion Air jet’s sudden dive into the Java Sea after taking off from Jakarta on Oct 29.

The pilots were attempting to deal with several malfunctions when the crash occurred, the investigators said. All 189 people aboard died in the high-velocity impact.

The FAA and Boeing are also evaluating the need for other upgrades, “including operating procedures and training”, the FAA said in the statement.

The FAA on Nov 7 issued an emergency airworthiness directive ordering US airlines to incorporate information about the feature in their pilot manuals. — Bloomberg