United Airlines reports that it has extended its cancellation of Boeing 737 Max flights. The airline plans to do so at least until early November 2019, a move that will affect 5,000 flights. Previously, the airline extended cancellations after the Federal Aviation Administration discovered a new 737 software flaw.
This software flaw is not the same one that contributed to two deadly 737 Max plane crashes that claimed nearly 400 lives. The CEO of Boeing states that the company needs the additional time to correct the latest flaw and have its corrected software approved by the FAA before the planes can be prepared to safely fly again. Southwest Airlines aims to stick with plans to reintroduce the 737 Max planes in October 2019. Until then, the airline is cancelling 150 of its daily flights.
American Airlines isn’t discussing its plans. However, the airline had previously canceled 737 Max flights. Delta Airlines is not affected since the airline does not fly these planes. Meanwhile, United has vowed to “nimbly make the necessary adjustments” to safely get its 737 Max planes ready for use again. The issue on the two flights that crashed was an external sensor that was part of software referred to as a Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System. Pilots in both crashes, however, were unaware of this software because Boeing did not disclose this information to the airline.
With matters involving aircraft sales and purchases and related components, an aviation lawyer may get involved if there is evidence that a design flaw contributed to a crash. It might also be possible to hold a manufacturer legally responsible if they failed to fully provide details of an aircraft’s software to the airline. A lack of such knowledge may prevent an airline from conducting proper software checks.