Posted June 29, 2020 9:29 pm by

Boeing 737 MAX could take off Monday for commercial survival

Seattle, United States, Jun 29 – Boeing’s 737 MAX plane could begin key recertification flight tests as soon as Monday, a crucial step for the survival of a top-selling plane that has been grounded for more than a year following two fatal crashes.

Tests of the MAX “could begin as early as tomorrow, evaluating Boeing’s proposed changes to the automated flight control system on the 737 MAX,” the Federal Aviation Administration said in a message to lawmakers on Capitol Hill Sunday.

“Testing is expected to take several days, and will include a wide array of flight maneuvers and emergency procedures to enable the agency to assess whether the changes meet FAA certification standards.”

A Boeing spokesman said Monday the company would defer to the FAA on the mechanics of the test, including timing. The FAA did not respond Monday to queries.

The MAX has been grounded globally since March 13, 2019, following an Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people. That catastrophe came just a few months after a Lion Air MAX crash that killed 189 people.

The troubling similarities between the two accidents, both of which occurred shortly after takeoff, along with the pilots’ inability to regain control of the plane, led global aviation authorities to ground the model indefinitely.

Nadia Milleron, mother of a victim of the Ethiopian Airlines crash, watches as FAA administrator Stephen Dickson leaves a hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on June 17, 2020, in Washington, DC © POOL/AFP/File / Brendan Smialowski

For months, the US aviation giant has been struggling to get its medium-haul aircraft — whose sales were its main source of revenue before the grounding — back into service.

The model’s anti-stall flight system, the MCAS, was partially to blame for both crashes. But other technical malfunctions, including one involving electrical wiring, were subsequently detected during the aircraft’s modification process, slowing down its recertification.

For weeks, Boeing has been awaiting the green light from authorities to conduct test flights to prove the modifications provide maximum safety.

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Civil aviation authorities cannot approve the modified model until they have examined how it performs in flight. They will also look at the thousands of data points collected during the flights.

And even after the test flights, there are still “a number of steps” before the plane is cleared to fly, the FAA said in the message to Congress.

These include the development of pilot training protocols on the MAX that Read More…Boeing 737 MAX could take off Monday for commercial survival  Boeing 737 MAX could take off Monday for commercial survival  Boeing 737 MAX could take off Monday for commercial survival  Boeing 737 MAX could take off Monday for commercial survival