Boeing Says Software Fix to Always Allow Override of Anti-Stall System

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The Boeing 737 Max 8 plane, which was en route to Kenya, crashed just six minutes after takeoff and killed all 157 people onboard, including eight Americans, airline officials said at the time. "Spirit and Boeing have agreed to work together to minimize the disruption to Spirit operations and the supply chain", said Spirit Aerosystems President and CEO Tom Gentile.

Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) on the fallout from the two Boeing 737 Max plane crashes.

He said the latest issue was not part of flight-control software called MCAS that Boeing has been working to upgrade since the first crash.

Sources have told ABC News that the Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 also struggled to maintain a steady flight path and the MCAS was activated before the jet crashed into the Java Sea off the coast of Indonesia on October 29, 2018.

The same type flown by the Indonesian airline Lion Air crashed into the sea only five months earlier, shortly after taking off from Jakarta.

A report from the Ethiopian authorities issued on Thursday said the pilots of flight ET302 "repeatedly" followed procedures recommended by Boeing before the crash.

Jim Hall, a former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said the preliminary findings add urgency to re-examine the way that the Federal Aviation Administration uses employees of aircraft manufacturers to conduct safety-related tasks, including tests and inspections - a decades-old policy that raises questions about the agency's independence and is now under review by the U.S. Justice Department, the Transportation Department's inspector general and congressional committees.

Southwest Airlines Co and American Airlines Group Inc, the two largest USA operators of the MAX with 34 and 24 jets respectively and dozens more on order, each said on Thursday that they continued to await guidance from US regulators and Boeing on when the MAX could resume flying.

Boeing's software-based MCAS system was added to the 737 MAX as a safeguard against stalling, but in both cases, investigators said a faulty sensor fed bad data into the system.

"We are nearing completion and anticipate its certification and implementation on the 737 Max fleet worldwide in the weeks ahead".

It also confirmed that external sensors on the plane's nose fed erroneous information into the plane's flight control system.

Most accidents take months of analysis because of the need to trace backwards to find a root cause from tangled evidence.

The report contains flight data recorder information indicating the plane had an erroneous angle of attack sensor input that activated the manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) function during the flight. "It is our responsibility to eliminate this risk".

The pilot was also reported to have shouted out "pull up" three times, while the co-pilot reported the problem to air traffic control at a point it was certain that the aircraft's speed remained abnormally high. That was similar to the Lion Air crash.

"We've always been relentlessly focused on safety and always will be; it is at the very core of who we are at Boeing and we know we can always be better".

Every plane crash typically involves multiple contributors, and the detailed Ethiopian report chronicles many factors that occurred over a matter of minutes leading to the accident.

"I think everyone involved in this program is going to feel a bit skittish after these tragedies", Aboulafia said.