Pilots and test crew members from the US Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing Co are slated to begin a three-day certification test campaign for the 737 MAX on Monday, Report says, citing Reuters.
The test is a pivotal moment in Boeing’s worst-ever corporate crisis, long since compounded by the novel coronavirus pandemic that has slashed air travel and jet demand.
The grounding of the fast-selling 737 MAX in March 2019 after two crashes in five months killed 346 people in Ethiopia and Indonesia triggered lawsuits, investigations by Congress and the Department of Justice and cut off a key source of Boeing’s cash.
The FAA confirmed to US lawmakers on Sunday that an agency board had completed a review of Boeing’s safety system assessment for the 737 MAX “clearing the way for flight certification testing to begin. Flights with FAA test pilots could begin as early as tomorrow, evaluating Boeing’s proposed changes to the automated flight control system on the 737 MAX.”
The FAA email said the testing will last 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.”
It added the “FAA has not made a decision on return to service” and has a number of additional steps before it can clear the plane to do so.