Boeing and FAA begin 737 Max recertification flights

Boeing and FAA begin 737 Max recertification flights


A Boeing 737 Max 9 lies over the Paris Air Show 2017.

Kent German / CNET

Boeing and the FAA conducted the first of a series of recertification flights on Monday to determine whether the 737 Max airliner could be put back into commercial service. During the three-day trial, investigators will monitor Max’s performance and evaluate Boeing’s changes to the MCAS flight control system largely accused for two accidents in 2018 and 2019 in which 346 people were killed.

The recertification process is a crucial step in ending a worldwide grounding order The FAA made a statement that its own pilots and engineers, as well as some from Boeing, will be on the flights.

“The FAA is pursuing an intentional process and will take the time to thoroughly review Boeing’s work,” said the agency. “We will only lift the grounding order if we are convinced that the aircraft meets the certification standards.”


The 737 Max 7 flew a series of loops from Moses Lake, Washington to Seattle on the second leg of its flight.


The plane that flew Monday is a 737 Max 7, the smallest member of the Max family. The plane took off from Boeing Field in Seattle this morning and flew over the center of Washington for about two hours with a stopover at Moses Lake in Washington, where Boeing operates an aircraft test and warehouse.

Pilots attempt a series of flight maneuvers and confirm that MCAS, which automatically adjusts the aircraft’s trim under certain conditions, is not incorrectly activated. According to Boeing, MCAS was updated with the addition of more levels of redundancy and the pilot training was re-evaluated to spend more time on the feature than when the Max was introduced in 2016.

If the FAA immediately approves Boeing’s corrections and updated training materials, most reports could get US passenger approval as early as September. Boeing also requires approval from Aviation security agencies in Canada, Europe and other countries before the Max can fly in airspace.

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