Thursday, 22 August 2019

The FAA plan to test the Boeing 737 Max only on very inexperienced pilots


The news agency Reuters is reporting that the US Federal Aviation Administration is planning to test the 'fixed' Boeing 737 Max software next month, but only with inexperienced new pilots, those with about a year's worth of flying.

These tests are said to be the pathway back to certification of airworthiness for the ill-fated aircraft type that has suffered two fatal crashes leading to the global grounding.  The FAA wants to see how inexperienced pilots handle the jet, as they are again trusting Boeing, who says they have used more experienced pilots.  

The exact nature of the tests are still being decided upon according to Reuters sources but could include a flaw found by the FAA in June in a microprocessor unit that caused uncommanded movement of the plane’s horizontal tail which took test crew too long to recognize as a loss of control known as runaway stabilizer.  Apparently, the one source claimed the tests were due to take place in the first week of September but have been delayed until the middle of the month. 


Boeing had reduced production of the jet to 42 a month during the grounding are said to be increasing to 53 a month and as we revealed earlier this week,  the US manufacturer is taking on more temporary staff for its delivery centre. Which would indicate they are not expecting the FAA to do more than just a basic overview of their tests. 

However, exactly when other global regulators are likely to deem the 737 Max airworthy again is far from certain, many will want to conduct their own tests.  Following the revelation that only the scantest of checks were carried out y the FAA and allowing Boeing to self-certify the type means that many safety authorities are increasingly unlikely just to trust the FAA's results, at least without further examination.   




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