More sensors and smarter automatics: Boeing reacts to the fatal 737 Max problems


Boeing is considering updating the software for 737 MAX aircraft of the type that crashed into the sea with Indonesia last month. The update may be available within six to eight weeks. The crafts may also receive an extra sensor, reports sources to the Reuters news agency.

This week it became clear that the Lion Air aircraft was rendered uncontrollable prior to the crash. A sensor gave incorrect information, as a result of which an automatic safety system constantly sent down the nose of the aircraft.

The pilots of the crashed jet probably did not realize that this safety system intervened and did not switch off the automatics. 26 times the pilots pulled the nose of the plane up manually, after which the system pushed the nose down again 5 seconds later. Eventually the plane collapsed and all 189 passengers lost their lives.

After the software update, the safety system must be automatically blocked if the pilots immediately raise the nose of the device.

“If the crew does that, the system must turn off automatically unless new data comes”

More sensors to be installed

Boeing would also consider placing additional sensors on this type 737. The aircraft have two instruments that determine the speed and direction of the aircraft, but only one of them has a sensor. Devices from Airbus have three of these sensors, so incorrect measurements lead to problems less quickly.

Due to the problems, American Airlines pilots want extra training on the use of the automatic safety system. That said a spokesperson for a pilots union after a consultation between the pilots and Boeing.

By: Oliver I. Kjeldsen

Oliver I. Kjeldsen has a corporate finance and extensive expertise in company audit. He grants us amazing insights on taxation, international affairs and friendly advice on nearly any topic of interest. His email is

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