US plane maker Boeing is setting aside approximately $100 million, to be available over the next several years, for the families of victims and communities impacted by the two crashes of its 737 MAX planes which took lives of 346 people, CNBC reported Wednesday.
“We at Boeing are sorry for the tragic loss of lives in both of these accidents and these lives lost will continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and on our minds for years to come,” Boeing Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in a statement. “The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies, and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort.”
The two aircraft, Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, crashed in October and March, respectively, killing a total of 346 people.
It was later discovered that Boeing improvised a software component, dependent on angle of attack sensors, compensating for larger engines that had been shoehorned into the older 737 airframes.
The software patch was susceptible to sensor errors and pilots were not informed about the problem. Pilots had no way of knowing the sensor readings were misaligned, as a corresponding alarm light worked in conjunction with an optional hardware display that the two crashed airliners did not have.
The two crashes led to the grounding of all 737 MAXs around the world. The plane maker says it will not be able to resolve the issue until September of this year, at the earliest.