Boeing is looking to perform a key certification test flight on its 737 MAX aircraft later this month. The plane manufacturer shared yesterday that it had won approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a service bulletin that details the modifications required for the jet’s wiring.
Over a year later
The controversial plane still remains on the ground, and has been since March 2019. This followed two tragic accidents, which resulted in 346 fatalities.
Over the last year, Boeing has been working rigorously with the FAA to get the 737 MAX back into operation once again. However, due to the sensitive nature of the project, there have been several pushbacks on the plane’s return.
Nonetheless, there seems to be some significant progress on the recertification process underway. According to Reuters, this summer, the aircraft type is set to undergo necessary testing, which will take it one step closer to its clearing.
Along with this news, the company is also communicating with carriers regarding essential modifications. New builds will also have these changes.
“Boeing has already begun modifying airplanes that have not yet been delivered and is coordinating modification efforts with the airlines,” Boeing said.
“New airplanes being built will include this update.”
Earlier this year, there were reports that before returning the 737 MAX to service, the firm would separate wiring bundles that regulators had flagged as potentially dangerous. Furthermore, Boeing is sharing draft pilot training materials with operators. Other related measures to help them facilitate and develop their training programs have also been shared.
Just like several other previously planned milestones, there could be a delay in the recertification test flight. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see this event slip into July.
The final say
Regardless, the FAA does not plan to clear the plane type until August, at the very least. The group said that it would approve the plane for a return to passenger service only after it is satisfied that all safety-related issues are addressed.
Nonetheless, despite the initial frustrations that several airlines had about the grounding of the plane, the same urgency isn’t there anymore. The climate within the aviation industry contrasts with the atmosphere this time last year. With airlines currently performing a fraction of the flights that they usually do, there could be less rush to get the 737 MAX back in the air.
Simple Flying reached out to Boeing for comment on its 737 MAX certification flight. However, we did not hear back before publication. We will update the article with any further announcements from the company.
What are your thoughts on the current issues with the 737 MAX? When do you expect to see the jet back in the skies? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section