Boeing, FAA reviewing new design issue on grounded 737 MAX aircraft

The US Federal Aviation Administration flagged the Boeing 737 MAX wiring issue as potentially ‘catastrophic.’ (AP)
Short Url
Updated 06 January 2020

Boeing, FAA reviewing new design issue on grounded 737 MAX aircraft

  • Wiring issue could push back the return of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft
  • Boeing will halt production this month following the grounding in March of its best-selling plane

WASHINGTON: Boeing Co. and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed on Sunday they are reviewing a wiring issue that could potentially cause a short circuit on the grounded 737 MAX.
Boeing spokesman Gordon Johndroe said Sunday the US planemaker “identified this issue as part of that rigorous process, and we are working with the FAA to perform the appropriate analysis. It would be premature to speculate as to whether this analysis will lead to any design changes.”
The New York Times reported Boeing is reviewing whether two bundles of wiring are too close together, which could lead to a short circuit and potentially result in a crash if pilots did not respond appropriately.
The FAA said in a statement Sunday the agency and company “are analyzing certain findings from a recent review of the proposed modifications to the Boeing 737 MAX.” The agency added it will “ensure that all safety related issues identified during this process are addressed.”
Boeing is currently working to design separating the wiring bundles if necessary and conducting extensive analysis to establish if the electrical fault could occur in a real-world scenario, a company official said.
Officials said the FAA had directed Boeing to complete an audit in December. The wiring issue could push back the return of the MAX, the officials added. Reuters has reported previously the FAA is not likely to approve the plane until at least February and might not until March or later.
The FAA flagged the wiring issue as potentially “catastrophic.” It is possible other protections like shielding, insulation and circuit breakers could prevent the short circuit, a company official said.
Boeing will halt production of the 737 MAX this month following the grounding in March of its best-selling plane after two fatal crashes in five months killed 346 people.
Last month, Boeing’s board fired Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg after repeatedly failing to contain the fallout from the crashes that tarnished its reputation with airlines and regulators.
The crisis has cost Boeing $9 billion, and has hurt suppliers and airlines.
Boeing is struggling to mend relations with the US and international regulators it needs to win over to get the jet back in the air.
Separately, US and European regulators are expected to return to Iowa this week to review a software documentation audit of the 737 MAX that was not completed last year, officials said Sunday. FAA and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency are scheduled to meet in Seattle this week and then return to Rockwell Collins facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa next weekend to review the audit.


Nvidia deal for Arm will drive computing power growth, says SoftBank’s CEO

Updated 23 October 2020

Nvidia deal for Arm will drive computing power growth, says SoftBank’s CEO

  • Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) is an anchor investor in the $100 billion Vision Fund

TOKYO/DUBAI: SoftBank Group Corp. CEO Masayoshi Son said on Thursday the sale of chip designer Arm to Nvidia Corp. will drive growth in computing power, in his first public comments since the $40 billion deal was announced in September.
Son made the comments at a virtual summit about artificial intelligence hosted by Saudi Arabia, an anchor investor in the $100 billion Vision Fund, at which he reiterated his belief that AI would transform society.
The Nvidia deal, part of a series of asset sales by Son, whose group has been shaken by soured investments and the COVID-19 pandemic, has raised concerns it will threaten Arm’s role as a neutral supplier in the industry.
Son is set to speak next week with Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang at SoftBank World, the group’s annual event for customers and suppliers that is being retooled as it focuses on investing.
SoftBank’s growing cash pile is driving speculation about future investment plans, with the Vision Fund targeting external funding for a blank-check company, a source said, in a sign the group is regaining its mojo.
“I am a risk taker,” Son said on Thursday.
Rajeev Misra, CEO of SoftBank Investment Advisers which oversees the Vision Fund, said the market share gained by online commerce companies in the last six to eight months is more than what they gained in the previous four years put together.
“COVID has accelerated the acceleration of AI even further,” Misra told the same conference, adding in the 105 companies Vision Fund 1 and 2 have invested in, artificial intelligence is the core of their businesses.