Boeing 737 Max : the sky darkens after the discovery of a new loophole

After two dramatic incidents a few months apart, the Boeing 737 Max aircraft that featured in the american giant, flying more since mid-march and could remain i

Boeing 737 Max : the sky darkens after the discovery of a new loophole

After two dramatic incidents a few months apart, the Boeing 737 Max aircraft that featured in the american giant, flying more since mid-march and could remain immobilized for many weeks. On Wednesday, the federal agency of the united states air force (FAA) had identified a new vulnerability "potential". It would have been discovered last week by the drivers of the agency during testing on the simulator, says an anonymous source to the AFP. These drivers would have struggled to regain control of the plane after having activated the anti-stall MCAS. It is this same system which was suspected to be the cause of the crash of October 2018 and march 2019. It has already been amended several times since march, but the FAA is very demanding in view of its new deployment and security. Yesterday, Thursday, the action of Boeing was losing 3% on Wall Street.

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"The FAA follows a rigorous process (...) to deliver the 737 Max at the service of passengers," she notes in a press release. Thus, it has asked Boeing to repair this fault, which may delay the testing of the 737 Max, as amended. "The safety of our aircraft is the top priority", said the american giant. The manufacturer says it is "in agreement with the decision and the request of the FAA, and is working on the required software". According to an official, the american company is hoping to get the green light from the FAA in October at the earliest, which will oblige the companies to new cancellations of volume

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The challenge for Boeing because this model represents more than 75% of its order book. The result of these setbacks, the group has also received one in the last four months, 200 aircraft, no binding for the client because it is an intent to purchase, made by IAG (British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling, and Level) at le Bourget last week. According to a government source to AFP, the flight test should not take place before the 8 July.

A flaw still very fuzzy

Monday, June 17 at the paris air show, the CEO of Boeing, Dennis Muilenburg himself was confident. He could expect "a resumption of flights to the Max this year". This discovery thus puts back the american giant in the uncertainty about the ability of his aircraft featured to resume service quickly: it is still complicated to learn more about the nature of this "flaw" and how long it will take to adjust. "To solve the problem will simply reduce the workload of drivers," adds Boeing by way of a press release. Currently, supplies of the device are suspended, the production decreased and the first financial cost of the transition to empty is estimated at one billion dollars.

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In this same letter to the FAA, Boeing ensures that it is working on the software and that it will not submit the unit modified for certification "as(he) does(will) not meet all of the requirements (...) for a return to service safely". For their part, the american pilots are demanding better training on the simulator for that device, which will be long and costly, in the absence of a sufficient number of tools. Another topic that could delay the redeployment of these aircraft, the FAA wants all countries to follow once she has approved the new device. Only Europeans and Canadians have already insured wanting to conduct their own inspection of the aircraft. The Boeing 737 Max is not about to resume its flights.

Date Of Update: 29 Haziran 2019, 00:00

Kathleen Lees

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