September 03, 2013

The Asiana Airlines crash in early July has sparked a great deal of investigation, and the ultimate cause of the incident is unclear. This has not stopped speculation though, and recently a group of victims have filed a lawsuit against Boeing alleging a variety of problems, including embedded software faults.

In total, victims have filed three lawsuits at this point, according to the Contra Costa Times. The errors, the lawsuits allege, were more than simply pilot-related. Instead, they believe Boeing have culpability in the issue, according to Frank Pitre, the attorney who filed the suits in U.S. District Court.

"You cannot simply write this off as pilots who came in too low and too slow," said Pitre. "There's more to it. You cannot excuse Boeing."

Previously, Boeing had retrofitted some of its planes with warnings if embedded software detected a poor approach, with a voice warning the pilots of "low airspeed" repeatedly. The plane the Asiana pilots were flying had not been included in these retrofittings.

Whether this was the problem will be for the judge and jury to decide. Yet Boeing could certainly have benefited from increased embedded software testing to ensure that the software would be ready in dire circumstances such as these to alert its pilots.

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Avionics, Aerospace, and Defense Software News