American plane-maker Boeing has announced that it is weeks away from rolling out a software upgrade for its grounded 737 Max aircraft.
The announcement comes in the wake of last week’s Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all 157 passengers and crew onboard.
It marked the second deadly crash in months involving the 737 Max, the newest and fastest-selling aircraft in Boeing’s fleet.
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Jamaica and the United States (US) are among a growing number of countries that have banned the 737 Max 8 and 9 from flying in their air space.
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However, Boeing said, in a statement, that it expects the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to approve design changes to the planes’ software “no later than April 2019″
The company revealed that it began working on the upgrade after another 737 Max jet operated by Lion Air crashed last October, killing all 189 passengers and crew members that were onboard
According to Boeing, the software being implemented includes updates to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, the automated system designed to keep the plane from stalling
Experts say it stops the aircraft from pointing upwards at too high an angle, something that could cause the plane to lose its lift
However, there have been reports from pilots that the system tip the aircraft’s nose downwards within minutes of take-off, forcing them to step in to stop the plane from dropping
In the meantime an Ethiopian delegation has reportedly joined investigators in France who are probing the cause of last Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines Crash
France‘s Bureau of Inquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety has confirmed that it took possession of the flight data and cockpit voice recorders on Thursday
The FAA has said that the Boeing 737 will not fly until a software update can be tested and installed