Boeing 737 Max airplanes safety review begins April 29
The FAA said earlier this month that it was forming an international team to review the safety of the aircraft, grounded worldwide following two deadly crashes – in Indonesia in October 2018, and in Ethiopia last month – that killed nearly 350 people.
Boeing has announced a planned software update on the 737 Max to prevent erroneous data from triggering an anti-stall system known as MCAS that is under scrutiny following the two disastrous nose-down crashes. It has not yet submitted the software to the FAA for formal approval.
China, the European Aviation Safety Agency, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates will all take part, the FAA said, in the Joint Authorities Technical Review (JATR) that is set to last 90 days. Most of the countries previously confirmed they would take part.
The JATR is chaired by former National Transportation Safety Board Chairman, Chris Hart, and is comprised of a team of experts from the FAA, NASA, and international aviation authorities. The group will conduct a comprehensive review of the certification of the aircraft’s automated flight control system.
The team will evaluate aspects of the 737 Max automated flight control system, including design and pilots’ interaction with the system, “to determine its compliance with all applicable regulations and to identify future enhancements that might be needed,” the FAA said.
Hart told reporters earlier this month the review is in response “to the growing need for globalisation because these airplanes are all over the place” and to the need for a “uniform response.”
American Airlines and Southwest Airlines Co have cancelled flights into August as a result of the grounding.
Boeing Chief Executive, Dennis Muilenburg, said the manufacturer is making “steady progress” on the path to certifying a software update to the grounded 737 MAX and has made the final test flight before a certification flight.
A total of 157 persons, among them two Nigerians, died in March, when a B737Max aircraft operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed shortly after takeoff from Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The aircraft, with registration ET-AVJ, lost contact with the radar about six minutes after takeoff, en route Nairobi, Kenya. Onboard were 149 passengers and eight crew members.
The Ethiopian Airlines’ tragedy on comes after a Lion Air flight went down over the Java Sea in late October, killing all 189 people on board.
To date, no fewer than 41 countries, including Nigeria and United States, have either grounded or banned the airplane model from their airspace over serious safety concerns.
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