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Two prominent flight control experts and whistleblowers — one ex- Boeing, one ex- FAA — have submitted a proposal to the U.S. Senate committee overseeing aviation to upgrade Boeing’s 737 MAX cockpit to current design standards.
According to Seattle Times, the crew alerting system is outdated, has published a detailed report about it. Boeing may need congressional action to extend the aircraft’s exemption from the latest safety regulation and get the B737 MAX 10 ready for takeoff without a timely upgrade.
An experienced B737 pilot is well acquainted with the system to navigate the controls and switches during an emergency. However, fresh starters might find it challenging, mainly if an urgent situation arises during a landing in bad weather.
The relatives of the crash victims of the two B737 MAX flights are pushing the FAA and EASA to upgrade the B737 MAX with the crew alerting system.
But a significant revamp of the B737 MAX cockpit has its challenges. Former Boeing executive Peter Morton says:
“Even if retrofittable to the entire MAX fleet, that means you’d have a 5- or 6- or 10-year period in which you’re still flying a mixed fleet. That’s going to be a training challenge.”