Published on Friday, February 7, 2020

Max 737 test flight could start within weeks

The Federal Aviation Administration has hinted grounded Boeing Max 737 aircraft could soon make a return to the skies.

The Max could start making certification flights in the 'next few weeks', says FAA administrator Stephen Dickson.

That's despite another faulty software issue coming to light this week. The latest issue - over an indicator light - will 'not result in a significant delay'.

Addressing the newly found glitch, Boeing said: "We are incorporating a change to the 737 Max software prior to the fleet returning to service to ensure that this indicator light only illuminates as intended."

Acknowledging there had been 'gaps' in the initial approval of the Max, Dickson expects global regulators to have 'very solid alignment' in respect of the new software changes made by Boeing.

The FAA has been in constant talks with other regulators although not always in total agreement over the proposed changes.

The certification flight is a key milestone but only the third of five such milestones before the aircraft can be signed off as safe to fly.

"Once we get past the certification flight, and the data that comes out of the certification flight, the steps from there on are more predictable, in terms of they're just fewer variables,'' Dickson said.

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