Boeing AIIMS to verify 737 MAX after hitting 346

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is ready to launch a test certification campaign Monday for Boeing's 737 Max aircraft, which killed 346 people worldwide in March 2019 following two deadly crashes.

The test, which will last for at least three days, will be conducted in cooperation with Boeing, sources told Reuters.

The purpose of the campaign is to ensure that the airline is safe enough to return to service, possibly before the end of the year, people familiar with the matter told the news agency.

Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, respectively, have led to an unprecedented corporate crisis in Boeing, which has only increased with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the reduction of worldwide air travel.

Sources told Reuters that pilots and FAA officials at Boeing Field near Seattle will have special test equipment on the 737 Max7 aircraft. After takeoff, staff performs tightly scripted mid-air maneuvers in Washington State and surrounding areas.

During testing, pilots deliberately trigger flight control software, known as MCAS, which was updated after it was discovered that program failures played a role in both crashes.

The FAA wishes to add that new protections added to the software are strong enough to avoid the scenario that pilots faced before the two dangers when they were unable to cope with the effects of MCAS.

To get to this point, the Boeing 737 MAX conducted hundreds of hours of testing on the flight simulator, as well as hundreds of hours in the air on the same aircraft used in the verification campaign next week, without FAA officials on board.

After the flights are completed, FAA officials analyze data collected during testing to determine whether the aircraft is airworthy.

A few weeks after the analysis, sources told Reuters that FAA Administrator Steve Dixon would board the same plane to conduct his own assessment. A former F-15 pilot, Dixon previously stated that the 737 MAX would not be allowed for the aircraft unless signed in person.

If the entire process is successful, the FAA will need to approve new pilot training procedures, as well as to conduct other reviews, meaning that the aircraft is unlikely to go underground before September.

"[The FAA] will make sure that things are wrong enough to prove that they are flying this jet through their paces. "Boeing wants to board Dixon's plane. Coronate," one of the people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

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