FAA begins Boeing 737 Max check flights, a milestone after crashes
A Boeing 737 MAX eight airliner takes off from Renton Municipal Airport close to the corporate’s manufacturing facility, on March 22, 2019 in Renton, Washington.
Stephen Brashear | Getty Pictures
The Federal Aviation Administration started recertification flights of the Boeing 737 Max on Monday, a key step towards allowing the planes to return to service after two deadly crashes greater than a 12 months in the past.
The 737 Max, Boeing’s bestseller, has been grounded worldwide since March 2019 after the crashes — one in Indonesia and one other in Ethiopia — inside 5 months of each other. All 346 individuals on the flights have been killed within the crashes. Boeing has since modified a flight-control system that was implicated in each crashes and has made different tweaks. Further scrutiny of the plane contributed to repeated delays within the recertification course of.
Boeing shares added to earlier good points after the primary Max certification flight took off, including greater than 14% to finish the day at $194.49, main the Dow Jones Industrial Common increased.
“The FAA is following a deliberate course of and can take the time it must totally evaluation Boeing’s work,’ the FAA mentioned in an announcement. “We are going to carry the grounding order solely after we’re glad that the plane meets certification requirements.”
The primary flight departed 10 a.m. Pacific time from Seattle with different flights scheduled over about three days. “The assessments are being carried out by check pilots and engineers from the FAA and Boeing,” the FAA mentioned.
Regulators’ analysis of the planes will proceed for a number of extra weeks and Boeing expects they are going to be again in business service by late fall. Different steps embrace a world analysis of minimal pilot coaching necessities, the FAA mentioned over the weekend.
“You will need to word, attending to this step doesn’t imply the FAA has accomplished its compliance analysis or different work related to return to service,” the FAA mentioned in a word to members of Congress on Sunday. “The FAA has not decided on return to service. Now we have numerous steps remaining after the conclusion of the certification flights.”
Boeing late final month resumed manufacturing of the planes after a pause earlier this 12 months.
Whereas it nonetheless has a strong backlog, Boeing has logged dozens of cancellations from prospects. The Covid-19 pandemic can be anticipated to imply lower-than-usual journey demand for years, Boeing and airline executives have mentioned, which might additional damage demand for brand new planes.