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737 Max fix slips to summer—and that’s just one of Boeing’s problems

737 Max fix slips to summer—and that’s just one of Boeing’s problems
The 737 Max is just the most high-profile of Boeing's crises.

Enlarge / The 737 Max is just the most high-profile of Boeing’s crises. (credit: Boeing)

The past 10 months have not been good for Boeing for all sorts of reasons—capped off by the failure of the company’s Starliner commercial crew vehicle to achieve the right orbit in its uncrewed premier in December. But the biggest of the company’s problems remains the 737 Max, grounded since last spring after two crashes that killed 346 people between them. Combined, the crashes are the worst air disaster since September 11, 2001.

Both were at least partially caused by a sensor failure with no redundancy and a problem with MCAS (the new software controlling the handling of the aircraft) that the air crews had not been trained to overcome.

Boeing executives are now telling the company’s 737 Max customers that the software fix required to make the airliner airworthy will not be approved in the near future, and that it will likely be June or July before the Federal Aviation Administration certifies the aircraft for flight again—meaning that the aircraft will have been grounded for at least 16 months.

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