Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) completed the first day of certification flights, as the process of un-grounding of the 737 MAX gets underway.
The FAA released a statement explaining that the flights are expected to take three days, as the two parties will test various flight maneuvers and emergency procedures to assess if the changes made by Boeing fit the administration’s standards. Test pilots and engineers from Boeing and FAA were present on the flight.
“While the certification flights are an important milestone, a number of key tasks remain,“ the agency wrote in the statement, adding it will take time to thoroughly review Boeing‘s work on the aircraft.
“We will lift the grounding order only after we are satisfied that the aircraft meets certification standards.”
First certification flight took off at 9:54 AM local time (UTC -8 hours) from Seattle Boeing Field (BFI) and landed at Moses Lake International Airport (MWH) after a two-hour flight. Shortly after, the Boeing 737 MAX-7 took off again from MWH and landed back at BFI after an hour and 43 minutes in the air.
Boeing resumed the production of the 737 MAX on May 27, 2020, after it halted the assembly of the narrow-body in January 2020. Several customers of the aircraft have either deferred or canceled their orders, including Norwegian Air Shuttle, which cut its remaining Boeing 737 MAX orders. The low-cost carrier had 92 narrow-body aircraft on order in its backlog.