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Boeing’s 737 Max, the aircraft that was involved in two fatal accidents in less than five months and grounded globally in March, will be the “safest aircraft in the world” once it returns to service, a senior executive from an aircraft leasing company that has the aircraft type in its portfolio has said.

“Given the level of scrutiny the MCAS [Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System] issue is under, I believe it will be the safest aircraft in the world,” said David Swann, chief operating officer of Japanese-owned aircraft leasing company SMBC Aviation Capital.

Swann, who has worked at the company for over seven years and has over 18 years experience in the aviation industry, was speaking on a panel at an industry conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday morning.

Last week, Boeing said it had made “significant progress over the past several months in support of safely returning the 737 Max to service”.

On Monday, Boeing outlined in a press release changes it has made to the B737 Max’s MCAS system, which can automatically push the aircraft’s nose down and has been blamed for the two crashes that claimed the lives of 346 people. Boeing said the system has been “updated to provide additional layers of protection”. These include:

  • MCAS now compares information from both angle of attack sensors before activating and will only respond if data from both sensors agree;
  • MCAS will only activate a single time; and
  • MCAS will never provide more input than the pilot can counteract using the control column alone.

“These changes will prevent the flight control conditions that occurred on the Lion Air 610 and Ethiopian Airlines 302 flights from ever happening again. Boeing has dedicated more than 100,000 engineering and test hours on the development of these improvements, flown more than 814 test flights with the updated software and conducted numerous simulator sessions with 545 participants from 99 customers and 41 global regulators,” Boeing said.

Source : Business Traveller News