• Boeing unveiling software update to 737 MAX following two fatal crashes

    By: John Knicely

    Updated:

    Two hundred people from airlines around the world will be in Renton on Wednesday to see Boeing's software fix for the 737 MAX. The planes remain grounded worldwide after two of them crashed, killing more than 300 people.

    The second crash involved Ethiopian Airlines and their CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam, is among those anxious for answers.

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    “It just happened within a span of five months, a similar flight pattern,” Gebremariam said. “They both happened, the accident happened during take-off. So there are a lot of similarities."

    The software update is to fix the automated system that's believed to have pushed the nose down on the Lion Air plane. Aviation Analyst Mary Schiavo is skeptical.

    “So Boeing says they're going to have this software patch by next week and all the pilots trained by May,” Schiavo said. “But I doubt that.”

    Schiavo is the former Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Transportation, and she says the current FBI investigation into how the FAA certified the 737 MAX 8 creates doubts about them certifying the fix Boeing will announce.

    “Who is going to trust an FAA certification while there's a criminal investigation going on undoubtedly involving the FAA,” she said.

    It’s unclear if a representative from Ethiopian Airlines will be in Renton for the meeting Wednesday, but Gebremariam shared his skepticism in an interview on Monday.

    "We will have to wait and see the correction that is being worked out by Boeing and we will have to convince ourselves before we put this airplane back to air,” he said.

    Boeing released a statement from CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Tuesday in response to the Ethiopian Airlines crash. It read in part: “With a shared value of safety, be assured that we are bringing all of the resources of The Boeing Company to bear, working together tirelessly to understand what happened and do everything possible to ensure it doesn't happen again.”

    In the meantime Southwest Airlines is canceling flights five days out as a result of the grounding, while American is canceling about 90 flights a day through April 24. 

    All eyes will be on Boeing in Renton on Wednesday to see and hear their software update.

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