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Boeing 737 Max Test Flights For FAA Approval Start Monday

Neer Varshney

The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) and the United States Federal Aviation Administration will start running test flights of the company's troubled 737 MAX aircraft on Monday, Reuters reported.

What Happened

In an email to the Congress on Sunday, FAA said it had completed the review of the aircraft's safety system assessment, and the "flights with FAA test pilots could begin as early as tomorrow, evaluating Boeing's proposed changes to the automated flight control system on the 737 MAX."

The testing procedure that will last three days and "will include a wide array of flight maneuvers and emergency procedures to enable the agency to assess whether the changes meet FAA certification standards," the federal agency informed lawmakers, according to Reuters.

Why It Matters

Boeing's 737 MAX has been grounded since March 2019 after two crashes involving the aircraft line in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people.

A flight control software, called "Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System" or MCAS, was said to have caused the crashes. Internal security testing since then has reportedly revealed further troubles with the 737 Max engine panel and wiring.

The Wall Street Journal report in January suggested employees at the Chicago-based company deliberately ignored safety issues with the aircraft.

What's Next

FAA said it hadn't taken a decision regarding the ungrounding of the Boeing aircraft yet, and the test flights are only a step as part of a larger regulatory review, Reuters noted.

The federal agency's administrator, Steve Dickson, is expected to board a test flight in the coming weeks before the 737 MAX is approved for regular operations again, and a final decision in the matter isn't expected at least before September, according to Reuters.

Price Action

Boeing shares closed nearly 2.8% lower at $170.01 on Friday and were down another 0.3% in after-hours at $169.51.

Image by Wikimedia.

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