Boeing 737 MAX probably crashed because of a known software error?

A recent press release by Boeing admits that they new 2 years ago about a software issue with the flight system, however they had informed the FAA as well.

“Boeing discussed the status of the AOA Disagree alert with the FAA in the wake of the Lion Air accident. At that time, Boeing informed the FAA that Boeing engineers had identified the software issue in 2017 and had determined per Boeing’s standard process that the issue did not adversely impact airplane safety or operation. In December 2018, Boeing convened a Safety Review Board (SRB) to consider again whether the absence of the AOA Disagree alert from certain 737 MAX flight displays presented a safety issue. That SRB confirmed Boeing’s prior conclusion that it did not. Boeing shared this conclusion and the supporting SRB analysis with the FAA. “

Is this a case of a software fault found during development and testing that should never have been released? Is it a case of business pressures and managers releasing code regardless of developer concerns?

Multi billion dollar companies have shareholders to satisfy but should shareholders be equally liable for the failures of the products being sold.

Is this another scandal like the Diesel emissions issues of 2014, where the blame was centered initially on software developers; until it was found that managers at many levels new of the issue but failed to act.

It is good to see that Boeing did at least refer the issue but I do see profits before safety being the driver here.

The slightest defect in an engine cowling or blade will stop an airplane from flying, but a software bug that could drive the plane into the sea or ground at 400 miles an hour is allowed!

If software being delivered had a Red, Amber, Green system for how tested it was, would the flight software have been Green? NO! Amber would probably have been the correct status.

As a passenger, would you fly on a airplane that only had a Amber software rating?

The industry and the public need to understand that software affects their lives at every level and we should all be demanding software that is trustworthy.


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