BOEING done updating flight control software after deadly crashes

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Boeing says it has finished with its updates to the flight-control software implicated in two deadly crashes involving its 737 Max, moving a step closer to getting the plane back in the sky.

Aviation regulators still have more questions about how pilots interact with the plane’s controls under different circumstances, and Boeing says it is providing that information.

The proposed fix, which addresses a problem with a flight handling system thought to be a factor in both crashes, must now win approval from US and international regulators before the planes can return to service.

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US airlines have targeted August as the date they expect to resume flying on the 737 MAX.

But Boeing’s announcement — which lifted shares of the embattled company — comes only a week before the US Federal Aviation Administration is set to brief its international peers among civil aviation regulators on its process for allowing the planes to fly again.

“This is an important milestone but it’s only one step,” said Scott Hamilton of aviation consultancy Leeham. “Getting this software package today, one week ahead of the FAA-hosted global regulator meeting, doesn’t leave a lot of time for the FAA to decide.”

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Boeing said it has flown 737 MAX with updated software for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, thought to be a factor in both crashes, for more than 360 hours on 207 flights.

“With safety as our clear priority, we have completed all of the engineering test flights for the software update and are preparing for the final certification flight,” said Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg said in a statement.

Boeing is providing additional information to the FAA in anticipation of a certification test flight, a key step in winning regulatory approval, the company said.

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