After the Ethiopian crash caused by the Boeing 737 Max, one would expect that the Airplane maker to offer a remedy for other fleets as a free option, rather, the company chose to sell it instead
The Ethiopian Airway crash was the third caused by the recently produced Max 737, and it was reported to have claimed a total of 157 people, making the second crash in the space of six months. The major cause of the crash was tagged to a software malfunction which was later informed to be a factory error, and as a result of that–other fleets of the Max 737, especially the latest batches were grounded across the globe with the expectation that the Airplane company will offer a lasting solution to the problem in question.
Now, Boeing has found a lasting solution, but instead of offering it as a free option as expected, the company will rather be selling the essential safety feature as optional. Boeing charged airlines extra for two safety features that may have been able to detect in advance issues with the 737 Max planes involved in fatal crashes, as informed by New York Times.
The additional sensors provided checks on data collected by sensors on the planes and could have alerted pilots to potential issues. Boeing will now make one of those safety add-ons standard issue on the 737 Max. As reported by New York Time, the optional safety features worked in tandem with a new software system used in the planes. That software took readings from “angle of attack” sensors, which determine how much the plane’s nose is pointing up or down in relation to oncoming air.
In addition, If the software system determines the plane is pointed at a potentially dangerous angle, it can automatically correct course to prevent the plane from stalling. Investigators believe that faulty data collected by sensors may have caused the software system to malfunction. It’s not clear if the two additional safety features would have made a difference in the two crashes.
One of the add-on safety features that Boeing was selling was called an angle of attack indicator. That system would display readings coming from the angle of attack sensors, giving pilots a readout of the information. The other optional safety checks was a disagree light that would activate if the sensors were producing data that didn’t match. Boeing will start to include the disagree light on the Boeing 737 without charging extra for it, but the angle of attack indicator will remain a purchasable extra.
One would wonder why the Airplane manufacturer is more business-conscious when it comes to safety essentials. According to Engadget who also wrote about the story, the company isn’t being made by regulators to make any of the optional features available, and neither are required by the Federal Aviation Administration. Either ways, the company appears to be trying really hard to get the 737 fleets back into the air, and of course, not without ramping up every necessary safety measures, especially after being grounded by the US and other countries across the globe.
The company is reportedly planning more software update launch sometimes in April.