Pilots being sought to test software changes on grounded Boeing 737 Max

By David Koenig, Associated Press

Pilots are being recruited to test changes made by Boeing to the flight control software on its grounded 737 Max jet, it is reported.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is looking for pilots both with and without experience of flying the planes, with testing due to take place in simulators.

Boeing is rewriting the Max’s flight control software after faulty sensor readings caused automated systems to push down the noses of planes that crashed in Indonesia and Ethiopia, killing 346 people.

Exact timing and details about the testing are unclear, but it will be done before the FAA re-certifies the plane.

Boeing declined to comment.

(PA Graphics)

The changes will make automated nose-down movements less powerful and easier for pilots to overcome.

The flight-control software, called MCAS, will also rely on two sensors instead of one.

Boeing is also working to fix a separate problem that FAA test pilots discovered in June and that could also push the plane into a dive.

Nearly 400 Max jets that were being flown by airlines around the world have been grounded since March, shortly after the second crash.

Boeing hopes to submit all changes to the FAA in September and get the plane approved to fly in November.

The Max has damaged Boeing’s reputation and finances, as dozens of families of passengers killed in the accidents have sued the company.

In July, Boeing reported a record loss of nearly 3 billion dollars (£2.45 billion) for the second quarter due to a 4.9 billion dollar (£4 billion) after-tax charge to cover the cost of compensating airlines that have been forced to cancel thousands of flights because of the grounding.