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June 18, 2024
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Boeing is planing to introduce an upgrade to its MCAS system on the Boeing 737MAX aircraft to correct potential flaws and improve the safety of the system.  The software, which has been under development since the Lion Air crash about 5 months ago, was reviewed with the FAA last week.  News reports this morning indicate that the software will take an additional few weeks to complete, keeping the MAX on the ground in the interim.

The question, when it comes to software, is whether it can indeed every be fully tested within a complex system like an airplane, and what standards are used to determine when software is “good enough” to be used.  The nature and complexity of today’s software is such that it is virtually impossible to test to 100% certainty.  Clearly, for somebody like Boeing, the standard of “good enough” needs to be much higher than for a routine piece of software on your PC.

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Ernest Arvai
President AirInsight Group LLC