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Changes coming at FAA after crashes, watchdog says

Changes coming at FAA after crashes, watchdog says”

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump issued an emergency order to ground all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in the USA after one of the planes, operated by Ethiopian Airlines, crashed shortly after takeoff and left 157 people dead.

Boeing remains under intense pressure following the two crashes, which will be the subject of a Senate hearing Wednesday.

"Boeing's software update appears to add yet another layer of safety to the operation of the MAX aircraft", Southwest's certificate chief pilot Bob Waltz said.

In a briefing with reporters on Wednesday, Boeing said the highly anticipated changes would most importantly prompt the aircraft to utilize two sensors instead of just one to engage the MCAS, or Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, created to compensate for larger engines placed further forward on the wings of the MAX model, a new generation of the Boeing 737.

"However, we have confidence in Boeing airplanes and we are sure that they will resolve the issue which is now under investigation".

He said the committee needs to understand what happened with the crashes, how the FAA determined that the Max was airworthy, and "take action to keep something like these tragic crashes from occurring again".

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The previously optional indicator light was not installed on the Lion Air plane that crashed, or on Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, which went down under similar circumstances on March 10.

A Boeing official meanwhile said there was no need to revamp a regulatory process that has "continued to lead to safer and safer airplanes".

A Boeing official said: "Following the first incident in Indonesia we followed the results of the independent authorities looking at the data, and, as we are always looking to ways to improve, where we find ways to improve, we make those changes to make those improvements".

Boeing has been developing a software update to fix the plane's faulty MCAS system since the most recent crash, and on Wednesday briefed pilots on the new updates.

The Ethiopian transport ministry spokesman explained that Ethiopia has led the investigation into the crash with assistance from US and French investigators as part of the rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Six 737 MAX 8 and 9 planes were at the Orlando airport at the time the grounding order was given, Fox 35 reports.

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Southwest Airlines told Business Insider that its pilots "reported a performance issue with one of the engines".

"The FAA is responsible for determining that the applicant has shown that the overall design meets the safety standards", he wrote.

On March 13, when the FAA said it received more robust satellite data showing similarities in the flight path, the agency grounded the aircraft.

The company also has said it will pay to train pilots on the system. The FAA only allows airlines to fly Max 737 planes that don't have passengers on board.

The jet belongs to Southwest Airlines, according to the AP.

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max made a safe emergency landing Tuesday in Orlando, Florida, after experiencing an engine problem, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

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The nation issued the airworthiness directive after the FAA and EU Aviation Safety Agency issued similar directives, the CAA said. Investigators have drawn similarities between the crashes, and focused their attention on the aircrafts' anti-stall system.

The airline says it had to cancel about 2,800 flights due to the groundings.



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