In his first public speech since an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crash that killed all 157 aboard March 10, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said further evaluations are expected in the coming weeks as the planemaker functions to regain the confidence of its customers and the flying public.
Boeing, combating its largest crisis in years, has been growing an upgrade to software that is under scrutiny at the Ethiopian Airlines injury along with a Lion Air 737 MAX crash which killed all 189 on board Oct. 29.
The world’s largest planemaker is under pressure to convince MAX operators and global regulators that the aircraft, that was grounded worldwide in March, is safe to fly .
Muilenburg said he recently joined among 96 test flights through which Boeing team performed distinct scenarios that exercised the applications changes in multiple flight conditions within 159 hours of air time.
“The software update served as designed,” he said, without indicating when Boeing will deliver the fix to international regulators to get their inspection, which is expected to continue approximately 90 days.
Boeing is working to address a glitch when separate software is integrated into the system which was discovered during an internal review, raising questions how long before it submits the upgrade for certificate.
Initial injury analysis reports reveal a 737 anti-stall system triggered by poor data from a key airflow sensor was”one link in a longer string of events” from the two crashes, Muilenburg said in a leadership forum at Dallas.
“We all know we can break this chain connection. It is our obligation to eliminate this risk.”
Last week Boeing cut its monthly 737 production by almost 20 per cent, signalling it did not expect aviation authorities to permit the plane back in the air anytime soon.
Chicago-based Boeing has not obtained any new orders for its 737 MAX because the wreck in March, nor it could make deliveries of the grounded aircraft.
The 737 MAX has been considered the likely narrowbody workhorse for international airlines for decades to come. There were over 300 MAX jetliners in operation at the time of the Lion Air crash and roughly 4,600 more on order.