Boeing begins critical test flights on 737 Max, trains pilots

*Certification flights an attempt to reassure aviation consumers ─FAA Administrators

* Tests of new training may be done remotely due to virus

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Boeing Company, world’s largest manufacturer of commercial airplanes and military aircraft, and the United States’ Federal regulators are preparing to hold a critical set of test flights on the 737 Max early next week.

The test flights are aimed at laying plans for other milestones towards ending the jetliner’s 15-month grounding, including convening a panel of pilots to go over a proposed training course, reports Bloomberg.

Report indicates that aviation industry officials briefed on the plans, which still haven’t been finalised, said that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reviewed Boeing’s safety analysis of fixes it has made thus far.

The FAA is comfortable moving to the next step: putting the plane through its paces with test pilots, stated the report.

The first of several days of test flights could come as early as Monday, June 29, 2020, according to three people familiar with the plans who weren’t permitted to discuss the still-tentative situation publicly.

The agency said: “Boeing had privately targeted hosting the FAA flights by the end of June.

“The team is making progress toward FAA certification flights in the near future.

“The FAA is reviewing Boeing’s documentation to determine whether the company has met the criteria to move to the next stage of evaluation.

“We will conduct the certification flights only after we are satisfied with that data.”

Nonetheless, Boeing declined to comment on the development, according to report.

Regulators and Boeing are also hoping to convene an international panel of airline pilots to test a proposed new training course for Max flight crews, possibly in late July and early August, the people said.

Travel restrictions related to the global pandemic have added uncertainty to how such sessions would occur.

Source stated that plans are being discussed to allow the group to perform its work remotely in flight simulators around the world, rather than flying to Boeing’s main training centre in Miami, Florida, where a COVID-19 outbreak is currently raging.

Setting a date for certification flights is one of the most critical steps on Boeing’s road to resuming service on its best-selling jet, which was grounded in March 2019 amid a worldwide furor following the second fatal crash in less than five months.

However, several more hurdles remain before the plane can get its final certification from regulators.

Air travellers have been told that it could come as soon as September if all goes well.

For one, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson and his deputy, Dan Elwell, both of whom were airline pilots, plan to also fly the plane after the certification flight in an attempt to reassure the public.

Boeing controls more than half of the global market for jet airliners and is the leading supplier of military jets and helicopters, missile systems, and aerospace technology.

The company also is one of the leading exporters, with its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, United States.

Kindly Share This Story