Boeing continues to analyze new “potential failures” in its controversial 737 Max model, out of service for almost ten months and waiting to improve its navigation software after two accidents that caused a total of 346 deaths, according to The New York Times.
As part of the work to return the Max to service, the company and regulators have examined every aspect of the plane, discovering potential new design flaws.
At the request of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Boeing conducted an internal audit in December to determine whether it had accurately assessed the dangers of key systems and how long it would take pilots to respond to emergencies, according to sources consulted by the Times.
Among the most pressing problems discovered were concerns not previously reported with the wiring that helps control Max’s tail.
The company is analyzing whether two wiring packages are too close together and could cause a short circuit, which in that area could cause an accident if the pilots do not respond correctly.
Boeing is still trying to determine if that scenario could actually occur on a flight and, if so if it would need to separate the cables on the approximately 800 Max aircraft that have already been built. The company says the solution, if necessary, is relatively simple, the Times reports.
The company informed the FAA of this potential vulnerability and the new CEO of Boeing discussed possible wiring changes at an internal conference call last week.
The company will eventually need to analyze whether the same problem exists in 737 NG, the predecessor of Max. There are currently about 6,800 of those aircraft in service.
The emergence of new problems in Max threatens to spread a crisis that is consuming one of the most influential companies in the United States and disrupting the global aviation business.