Introduction: The Boeing 737 Max was involved in two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019, which resulted in the deaths of 346 people. Investigations into the accidents revealed several contributing factors that led to the crashes. In response, Boeing made several changes to the 737 Max planes to improve their safety.
The investigations into the crashes found several factors that contributed to the accidents. Some of the key findings are:
- Faulty Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS): The MCAS, which is a software system designed to prevent the aircraft from stalling, was found to have played a significant role in both accidents. The system received faulty sensor data, causing it to erroneously push the nose of the plane down, which the pilots were unable to overcome.
- Inadequate pilot training: The investigations found that the pilots of the crashed planes were not adequately trained to handle the MCAS system or other critical situations that arose during the flights.
- Certification process failures: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was criticized for its certification process, which was found to have allowed Boeing to self-certify some of the safety features of the 737 Max planes.
Changes Made to Improve Safety:
Based on the findings of the investigations, Boeing made several changes to the 737 Max planes to address the safety issues. Some of the changes include:
- Updating the MCAS system: Boeing updated the MCAS system to receive input from multiple sensors, rather than a single sensor, to prevent faulty readings from triggering the system.
- Increasing pilot training: Boeing increased the amount of pilot training required to operate the 737 Max planes, with a focus on understanding the MCAS system and other critical flight scenarios.
- Improving flight manuals and checklists: Boeing improved the flight manual and checklists to ensure that pilots have clear and concise instructions for handling emergency situations.
- Strengthening the FAA certification process: The FAA has strengthened its certification process to ensure that safety features are properly assessed and certified before the planes are allowed to fly.
The Boeing 737 Max investigation highlighted several issues that contributed to the fatal crashes. However, Boeing has made significant changes to address these issues and improve the safety of the 737 Max planes. By updating the MCAS system, increasing pilot training, improving flight manuals and checklists, and strengthening the FAA certification process, Boeing has taken significant steps to ensure the safety of its planes and passengers.