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Friday,  April 12, 2024 7:32 PM 

Boeing vows 737 MAX 8s will be "safest airplanes to fly"

Boeing vows 737 MAX 8s will be "safest airplanes to fly"
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch:

In the weeks that have followed since Transport Canada grounded all Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes, Boeing has issued several Tweets that demonstrate what's being done to fix the faulty MCAS software on its planes.

READ MORE: Boeing slices production of 737 MAX 8s by almost 20%

On Mar.10, 2019, Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 crashed six minutes into take off, killing all 157 passengers on board. Just five months prior on Oct. 29, 2018, Lion Air flight JT610 plunged into the Java Sea 13 minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 on board.

Owning up to a tragedy

In a press release issued Apr. 5, Boeing acknowledged, for the first time, that there was a direct link between Ethiopian Airlines crash ET 302, and Lion Air's JT 610; both flights were operated on a Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane, less than five months old, and both crashes had no survivors.

"We now know that the recent Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accidents were caused by a chain of events, with a common chain link being erroneous activation of the aircraft's MCAS function. We have the responsibility to eliminate this risk, and we know how to do it. As part of this effort, we're making progress on the 737 MAX software update that will prevent accidents like these from ever happening again," Boeing said in a statement.

Now, Boeing CEO Dennis A. Muilenburg has said that the company is "making steady progress on the path to certification for our 737 MAX software update thanks to the work of our Boeing pilots, engineers and technical experts."

120 test flights completed

In a video uploaded to Twitter, Muilenburg shares that Boeing's pilots have completed 120 test flights aboard the Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes to date, totalling more than 203 hours of air time with the updated maneuvering characteristics augmented system (MCAS).

"Yesterday, we completed the official engineering flight test of the updated software with our technical and engineering leaders on board the airplane," Muilenburg said. "That was the final test flight prior to the certification flight."

According to Muilenburg, more than 85 per cent of the company's 50+ MAX 8 customers and operators have now experienced the new software through a series of simulator sessions.

"The work of our team will make the 737 MAX one of the safest airplanes to fly," Muilenburg concluded.

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