The biggest crisis in the history of commercial aviation is still far from over. Today Boeing confirmed that after a technical review last weekend in Iowa, related to the software update of the 737 MAX aircraft, they found a new problem in the aircraft’s systems, which could further delay the aircraft’s return to service.
The start of 2020 has been extremely difficult for Boeing, which has had to suspend production of the 737 MAX; fire its CEO, Dennis Muilenburg; and submit troubling delivery and order figures, where for the first time in the company’s history they have more cancellations than new orders.
Some airlines are now postponing Boeing MAX flights to June
According to information gathered by Reuters, this new problem on the 737 MAX is not related to the software revisions that Boeing made to solve the cause of the two fatal accidents that killed 346 people. In other words, this is a new bug that is not related to the problem they have supposedly already solved.
The problem occurs when the MAX computers start up. This involves the so-called software power-up monitoring function, which checks for faults when the computers are switched on. This is similar to the steps any computer takes when it is first switched on. The advantage of this process, Boeing explained, is that it is done when the plane is on the ground, so in theory it would not affect when the aircraft is in flight.
A Boeing spokesman explained:
“WE ARE MAKING THE NECESSARY UPDATES AND WORKING WITH THE FAA TO INTRODUCE THIS CHANGE AND KEEP OUR CUSTOMERS AND SUPPLIERS INFORMED. OUR TOP PRIORITY IS TO MAKE SURE THE 737 MAX IS SAFE AND MEETS ALL LEGAL REQUIREMENTS BEFORE HE WILL BE REINSTATED TO BE ON DUTY.”
With this in mind a few days ago American Airlines and Southwest airlines issued new statements informing that they will once again postpone the return of their 737 MAX aircraft to the air, a date that is now valid until early June this year. This seems to indicate that the plane will be one year on the ground, and surrounded by uncertainty.
But that wouldn’t be all, as the FAA and Boeing also reported that they are reviewing a wiring problem that could eventually cause a short in the 737 MAX.
With this in mind, the FAA is awaiting further information and plans on how Boeing will resolve these problems. According to Reuters, a U.S. official said Friday that it is unlikely the FAA will approve the plane’s return until March of this year, and it could even be delayed until April.