In just a few days, the Boeing 737 MAX is expected to be recertified by regulators. After more than a year on the ground, the United States is expected to give the green light to the aircraft to return to service after the pilots undergo additional training and existing aircraft receive the necessary updates.
The 737 MAX is expected to be certified on Wednesday
Reuters set the day for US approval at 737 MAX to be Wednesday. This will mark one year and eight months (20 months) from the initial grounding of the type in the United States. President Trump’s outgoing administration will control the entire recertification if the type is recertified for commercial flights on Wednesday.
As a sign that the aircraft type is ready for commissioning soon, American Airlines is looking to restart 737 MAX operation at the end of December. In addition, pilots were expected to start training as recommended by the Joint Operational Evaluation Board (JOEB).
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Other regulators, such as those in Europe, Canada and Brazil, are likely to follow soon after, as these agencies have had a place at the table in re-certifying the aircraft. When other regulators, especially China, recertify the aircraft for flight is another story.
The recertification process revealed many problems with MAX. In recent months, however, this has been pretty good news for the plane. This includes the head of the FAA, who flies alone to MAX and designs a satisfied attitude.
Once the aircraft is recertified, Boeing hopes to begin deliveries. The aircraft manufacturer expects more than 200 MAX deliveries in 2021. Then there are 737 MAX outstanding liabilities.
The MCAS system
The maneuvering system (MCAS) was at the heart of the 737 MAX failure. It is designed to provide stability on the ground of the aircraft. The system was needed because Boeing designed the 737 MAX with larger engines that were placed further and higher, which could create a step-up trend. MCAS would push their noses down to avoid a high angle of attack that could lead to a stay.
After months of review, the FAA is reviewing both software and system updates to make the aircraft safer.
How long will it take for the 737 MAX to re-enter the commercial service?
It depends on how the airlines want to return the type. Like the US, some airlines expect this to take about a month, and then fly only a few aircraft at first on a limited schedule, leaving enough room to continue working on other parked 737 MAX aircraft before expanding MAX flight schedules.
Other airlines, such as Southwest, are waiting longer to get the 737 MAX back into service. This will likely prepare more aircraft for commercial service and will be able to maintain the integrity of their schedule once MAX resumes commercial service.
Ideas such as pre-service customers and media proving flights, customer tours, independent reviews and much more are offered by various airlines that fly the 737 MAX. There is no one right way to get MAX back in service, and airlines know that these planes have suffered a huge blow to confidence due to the failure of MAX by consumers.
Pilots and crew unions are also likely to want to create a plan with airlines to ensure that some are not forced to fly the plane if they are not comfortable. Some customers will also want to be able to avoid flying with MAX.
Are you looking forward to flying the Boeing 737 MAX again? Let us know in the comments!