Boeing Asked To Alter 737 MAX’s Software Documentation

The FAA and EASA have asked Boeing to revise their 737 MAX software documentation. This comes as the planemaker is working to get the 737 MAX recertified before the end of 2019– a deadline that is fast approaching.

Boeing 737 MAX
Boeing will have to revise some documentation regarding the 737 MAX software fix. Photo: Boeing

The FAA and EASA request changes

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have asked Boeing to submit revised documentation in regards to the 737 MAX software fix the company is pitching, according to a Reuters report. This is another step back for Boeing as they await the recertification of their Boeing 737 MAX. Specific details regarding this request are unclear.

Boeing 737 MAX, Test Flight, Progress Update
Boeing must submit revised documentation before recertification. Photo: Boeing

Boeing provided Simple Flying with the following statement on the matter:

Boeing provided technical documentation to the regulators as part of the software validation process.  The documentation was complete, and it was provided in a format consistent with past submissions. Regulators have requested that the information be conveyed in a different form, and the documentation is being revised accordingly. While this happens we continue to work with the FAA and global regulators on certification of the software for safe return of the MAX to service

Boeing 737 MAX orders
The FAA and EASA have requested revised documentation. Boeing

Based on these details, it does not appear that Boeing has to make any major changes to their proposed software fix. Rather, the FAA and EASA would like some additional information.

What is happening with the 737 MAX?

As regulators review Boeing’s proposed changes to the 737 MAX, there is a heightened sense of scrutiny both from aviation professionals and general travelers. In regards to this incident, it appears that the FAA and EASA were not pleased with the documents Boeing provided. It is, however, unclear exactly what regulators are looking for in terms of this new request. However, for Boeing, it represents another hiccup in the recertification process. It is unknown at this stage how much time this could add to the recertification process.

Southwest Airlines MAX nose
Delays to the 737 MAX recertification likely will not please many of their customers. Photo: Southwest Airlines

Boeing has maintained that they expect to see the 737 MAX recertified by the end of the year. Ultimately, Boeing does not control the process and regulators have not stuck to that deadline. However, it is not impossible for the 737 MAX to receive recertification by the end of 2019. At this point, it depends on how comfortable regulators are with Boeing’s fixes.

Boeing 737 MAX takeoff
The 737 MAX is still undergoing recertification testing and analysis. Photo: Boeing

The EASA, however, seems to think that the 737 MAX is entering the final stages of this process. According to a statement from Patric Ky, the head of the EASA, the 737 MAX could return to the skies by early 2020. This is relatively consistent with the timeline some airlines have proposed in their own scheduling.

Overall

The aviation world will have to reckon with the 737 MAX debacle for some time to come. It is too soon to indicate exactly how this will affect aviation long-term, however, the short-term impacts present some interesting observations.

Boeing 737 MAX
The 737 MAX debacle will have long-term effects on the aviation world. Photo: Boeing

As of now, the 737 MAX is awaiting certification with costs continuing to mount. Although, it seems that the processing is nearing the end. For Boeing and airlines, this would be a welcome relief.

When do you think the 737 MAX will be recertified? Are you looking forward to flying on the 737 MAX? Let us know in the comments!

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Christopher Randal

I don’t believe that the airplane will go back into service and I would never fly on it if it did.

I believe the passenger backlash will keep it out of the air forever

Steve MacLeod

Would I fly the 737 Max. Likely but somehow would prefer A320 or A220. The Max software that the pilots did not know about is a sign of poor management and foresight. First the return to service and then the lawsuits. I do not feel sorry for Boeing

Andrew

Won’t be flying the max anytime soon.
Just don’t have confidence in what they are doing. It’s about revenue and safety second.

Kevin

What a.shocker!(Not) Boeing trying to blow one by the FAA with a little razzle dazzle in their documentation for the new software. Sound familiar? Ask the crews of LionAir 610 or Ethiopian 302 how much documentation they saw for the MCAS software. Oh, that’s right, we can’t! The LionAir pilots knew nothing about MCAS, and the Ethiopian pilots only marginally more. It’s time for Boeing to cough up all they know, or the FAA to wire-brush them over the Max.

Peter

You’d think after months of controversy and bad press that they’d be able to do something as straightforward as getting their documentation in order…but, no, apparently they still have matters that they want to conceal…

Neverfly737Max

At what point does the world say… Boeing cancel the Max and start again. Poor documentation that’s not complete plus a meeting last month that FAA told Boeing to provide the FULL details because they didn’t and apparently there were 92 changes from the 737NG to 737 Max. There’s so much attention on MCAS I would like to know what else was changed and bring it all together. And the test flight (not a F$%^king simulator flight) that doesn’t have MCAS active, what happens to the aircraft?

Bud Harlow

I trust Boeing, sure I’ll fly on the 737 MAX

In-Frequent Flyer

IMO I think the questions asked are looking to start a flame war lol. Anyway, I don’t fly often so I wouldn’t know. I guess after a year or so I’d get to fly in one, but I don’t have time travel for anything until later.

Hank Blicharz

There’s No doubt in my mind that the Regulators Don’t want this plane To Fly passengers , if they can help it! This Boeing band Aid approach can only spell doom and put any further occurrence on and the fault of the Pilots . This pane has a Bad DESIGN and should be regulated to the Trash Heap of History. Unfortunately , if it’s certified I would be forced to fly it because I live in a regional airport area and serviced by those air lines most impacted. This Boeing debacle and the industry as a whole are just crying… Read more »

Frank

Notwithstanding what Dennis M said to Congress, it’s a pretty safe bet that given the lawsuits and legal exposure Boeing still faces, every document they put out is being reviewed by their lawyers so they can limit the legal damages. As well – at what point in time do the submitted docs cause the regulators to say “Hang on a sec – this is starting to sound like a new design and not a grandfathered-in type certificate”
Boeing is dancing a fine line, IMO…..again.

Peter

Spot on!

JFP

I don’t see EASA ever re-certifying the MAX. Too many Airbus jobs are at stake…

Joanna Bailey

How are Airbus jobs at stake? Airbus has a solid backlog of narrowbody orders that won’t be affected in the slightest by the MAX coming back. If anything, they’ll be keen to get it back in operation to save European carriers (Norwegian, Icelandair etc.) who are struggling with grounded jets.