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Boeing Finds Software Problem That Could Complicate 737 MAX's Return

By Andy Pasztor 

Boeing Co. said it is grappling with a new software headache before its 737 MAX can return to service, a problem industry and government officials said prevents the jet's flight-control computers from powering up as required prior to flight.

The glitch, which Boeing said Friday it was working to correct, is the latest in a string of unexpected technical issues that have complicated and delayed the grounded fleet's return to the air over many months -- and now threaten another schedule slip.

A Boeing spokesman said: "We are making necessary updates and working with the FAA on submission of this change, and keeping our customers and suppliers informed."

Before the problem was discovered last week, according to people briefed on the details, the company and the Federal Aviation Administration were slated to conduct a key certification flight by the end of January. But at this point, these people said, that date increasingly looks like it will slip into at least February.

The length of the delay will largely depend on how long it takes Boeing engineers to resolve and then verify that the specific problem has been eliminated, though coordination with international regulators and other factors could complicate the process.

Write to Andy Pasztor at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 17, 2020 15:33 ET (20:33 GMT)

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