The Boeing 737 MAX could carry out its first FAA recertification flight on June 29, 2020. It marks an important milestone towards the aircraft’s return to the skies, after 14 months of global grounding.
Starting from June 29, 2020, a three-day test flight campaign is expected to mark the beginning of the recertification of the 737 MAX, sources told the AFP and Reuters. During the test, a Federal Aviation Administration test pilot (possibly the FAA chief administrator Stephen Dickson himself) will intentionally trigger the updated MCAS that initially caused the two crashes that killed 346 people. The conditions of an aerodynamic stall will also be reproduced.
Neither Boeing nor the FAA have confirmed the information. “We are continuing to work diligently to return the 737 MAX to service,” a Boeing spokesperson told the AFP. “We defer to the FAA and international regulators on the process.”
The FAA informed the Congress on June 28, 2020, that it finished reviewing new safety processes put in place by Boeing. The return to service could take place around September 2020. It will be crucial for the manufacturer which has seen the coronavirus crisis weighing even further on its finances.
Additionally to the MCAS malfunction, the investigation led by aviation regulators from around the world had revealed other design flaws. However, authorities agreed to see some of them corrected after the Boeing 737 MAX returns to service. In the meantime, the manufacturer will update the pilot training and manuals to warn of those safety lapses.