Published on Monday, June 29, 2020

Boeing 737 Max to start FAA test flights

After a grounding of more than a year, the Boeing737 Max will finally get the chance to prove its safety credentials.

The Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing will from today begin a three-day series of certification tests, Reuters reported.

The FAA confirmed to lawmakers Sunday that a review 'clears the way for flight certification testing to begin.'

It will entail a preflight briefing over several hours before piloting a 737 Max 7 fitted with test equipment at Boeing Field near Seattle.

The plane will go through the motions to perform a set of manoeuvers such as steep-banking turns, and then more extreme emergency scenarios which may include touch-and-go landings.

It will also include the use of the anti-stall MCAS software which was linked to both fatal crashes.

 "FAA has not made a decision on return to service," the agency said, with several additional steps to complete even if the testing program is a success.

Boeing has already spent hundreds of hours in the air testing the software fix but this will be the first time with FAA inspectors aboard.

If all goes well, and new pilot training and other procedures get approved, the plane could be cleared to fly again in September.

However Reuters' sources expect it to likely take longer.

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