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Boeing says it is updating the software on its 737 Max planes

March 28, 2019

It’s the company’s most significant attempt to fix issues that may have led to two recent catastrophic crashes.

What’s happened: It will now be easier for pilots to override anti-stall software and make the system less likely to be set off by incorrect data. Boeing will also give pilots extra training on the software, dubbed MCAS, which automatically points the plane's nose down to stop it stalling. The company hopes to allay global fears, and get its planes back up in the air. However, a rushed design process is allegedly part of the reason why the flaws crept in in the first place.

Questions remain: Before the 737 Max planes can resume flying, the upgrade must be approved by regulators, whose role has itself come in for scrutiny. Specifically, the US Federal Aviation Authority is accused of “doing safety on the cheap,” as Senator Richard Blumenthal put it.

What’s next: Lawmakers in the US are planning to grill the FAA and others over how the plane reached production with a potentially dangerous automated anti-stalling system in the first place.

This story first appeared in our daily newsletter The Download. Sign up here to get your dose of the latest must-read news from the world of emerging tech.

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