Boeing admits to errors in MAX 8 simulator

Boeing and the Lion Air Group announce that the airline purchases 50 of Boeing’s new 737 MAX 10 airplane, which will be the most fuel-efficient and profitable single-aisle jet in the aviation industry. This rendering shows the airplane in the carrier's livery. (Boeing illustration) (PRNewsfoto/Boeing)

Boeing admits to errors in 737 MAX 8 simulator software

The software update for the 737 MAX 8 aircraft that Boeing has completed was related to deficiencies in the MAX 8 simulator where the pilots learn to manoeuvre the aircraft.

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing confirms this in a news statement on Saturday.

Boeing last week announced that the company had completed a software update for the 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The model has been involved in two tragic accidents, where a total of 346 persons lost their lives. A software error is suspected as contributing factors to both incidents.

“Boeing has corrected the software of the MAX 8 simulator. Thus, providing additional information to unit operators to ensure that the simulator experience is representative of different flight conditions,” Boeing states in the release.

This is the first time that the company has acknowledged that errors in software are related to the aircraft model.

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Manual override

Boeing now states that software shortcomings of the MAX 8 simulator – in which the pilots receive training – have been corrected.

The flight simulator software was unable to properly reproduce all types of conditions. This supposedly includes the actual conditions at both the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes in March and October, respectively.

The company further writes that the changes made will improve the simulation of power loads on applicable levers, specifically those used to override and manually adjust the aircraft’s trajectory in the air.

Both after the Indonesia accident and the crash in Ethiopia, it is suspected that software on the 737 MAX 8 aircraft intended to push the aircraft’s nose down – in order to avoid stalling under certain circumstances – may have contributed to the accidents.

MAX 8 simulator available as of late 2019

The aircraft type is currently grounded while the updates are being implemented, pending approval.

“Boeing works closely with the software manufacturers and supervisory authorities on these changes and improvements, and to ensure that customer training is not harmed,” the statement further reads.

Boeing has developed a training manual that is now being reviewed by the United States Aviation Authorities (FAA), global authorities and various airlines.

Southwest Airlines, one of the largest customers with 34,737 MAX aircraft (all models), says they are expecting their first updated MAX 8 simulator in place late this year.

Norwegian Air Shuttle is hit hard by the flight ban on their long-distance routes to the US and Asia.

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