The Latest: Boeing to cut production rate of 737 Max jet
DALLAS (AP) — The Latest on Boeing’s ongoing issues with the troubled 737 Max (all times local):
Boeing says it is cutting production of its grounded Max airliner this month to focus on fixing flight-control software and getting the planes back in the air.
The company said Friday that starting in mid-April it will cut production of the 737 Max from 52 to 42 planes per month.
The move is not that surprising. Boeing had already suspended deliveries of the Max after regulators around the world grounded the jet following deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
In each case, preliminary reports say faulty sensor readings erroneously triggered an anti-stall system that pushed the plane’s nose down. Pilots of each plane struggled in vain to regain control over the automated system. In all, 346 people died in the crashes.
Boeing has found another software issue that needs fixing on its 737 Max jets, and the discovery explains why the aircraft maker is delaying its schedule for getting the planes back in the air.
A Boeing spokesman on Friday called it a “relatively minor issue” and said the plane maker already has a fix in the works.
The spokesman, Charles Bickers, said the latest issue is not part of flight-control software that Boeing has been working to upgrade for months.
That software, known by its acronym MCAS, is suspected in two recent deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that led regulators to ground the plane worldwide last month.