FAA panel finds Boeing 737 MAX software upgrade 'operationally suitable'

Lion Air Boeing

Lion Air Boeing

American Airlines announced it will cancel 737 Max flights through August 19, while Southwest Airlines is cancelling 737 Max flights until August 5.

The administration has sent two experts to join the US Federal Aviation Administration's panel to review the automated flight control system and airworthiness of Boeing's 737 Max 8 jets, Xu said.

The report by a Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standardization Board is an important first step in reviewing the still-unfinished upgrade to the 737 Max family of aircraft.

The report is open for public comment over the next 14 days.

Boeing is working on a software update to correct problems with the Max 's anti-stall system, which was identified as a factor in both the Ethiopian Airlines crash and one a year ago by a Lion Air flight off Indonesia.

The MAX 8 airliner is still suspended globally after a crash in Indonesia in October that killed 189 people then another crash in Ethiopia in March that killed 157 people.

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner got off to a rocky start after a battery issue that led to a temporary grounding, but the plane has gone on to become a popular aircraft in the widebody market.

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Level B training is aided instruction using methods that could include an audio-visual presentation, tutorials on computers or stand-up instruction.

The review only looked at the training, and not at the software itself. The board said ground training "must address system description, functionality, associated failure conditions, and flight crew alerting".

The regulatory agency said the meeting, which included acting administrator Dan Elwell, covered three major agenda items.

An FAA panel found on Tuesday that a software update for the plane, and Boeing's plans for training pilots to fly in the aircraft, are both "operationally suitable".

It said presentations by FAA experts allowed for an open exchange between all participants.

Despite the setback caused by the Maxes being grounded, United Airlines Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz is still upbeat about the rest of the year and thanked all United staff.

The FAA held a meeting on Friday in Washington with the three USA airlines that fly the 737 Max along with representatives of their pilot unions to discuss the steps needed to return the plane to service. "If I were Boeing, I would fix the Boeing 737 MAX, add some additional great features and rebrand the plane with a new name". United is cancelling them through early July. In the beginning, American Airlines grounded its 737 fleet until June; however, the decision to extend this safety grounding period has resulted in the cancellation of more than 100 daily flights in the midst of the busy summer travel reason.

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