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Fri, Apr 19, 2019

FAA Posts 737 MAX Report For Comments

Interested Parties Can Comment Through April 30

The FAA has posted a draft report from the Boeing 737 MAX Flight Standardization Board. The FSB reviewed only the training aspects related to software enhancements to the aircraft. The report is open to public comment for 14 days, with the comment period ending April 30. After that, the FAA will review those comments before making a final assessment.

Boeing is still expected in the coming weeks to submit the final software package for certification.

The draft document adds several aspects to training requirements for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). The document would require MCAS ground training to address system description, functionality, associated failure conditions, and flight crew alerting. These items must be included in initial, upgrade, transition, differences, and recurrent training.

According to the FAA, in March 2019, the FSB conducted an evaluation of the modified MCAS for training and checking differences determination. The system enhancement is incorporated on all MAX series aircraft. The MCAS system was found to be operationally suitable.

The FAA convened a meeting last Friday with safety representatives of the three U.S.-based commercial airlines that have the Boeing 737 MAX in their fleets, as well as the pilot unions for those airlines.   

The approximately 3-hour meeting opened with remarks from Acting Administrator Dan Elwell and covered three major agenda items:  a review of the publicly available preliminary findings of the investigations into the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accidents; an overview of the anticipated software enhancements to the MCAS system; and, an overview of pilot training.  Each presentation corresponding to the agenda, delivered by FAA subject matter experts, allowed for an open exchange between all participants.

In his opening remarks, Elwell characterized the meeting as a listening session for the FAA to hear from the participants for a fuller understanding of the safety issues presented by the Boeing 737 MAX.   Elwell said that he wanted to know what operators and pilots of the 737 MAX think as the agency evaluates what needs to be done before the FAA makes a decision to return the aircraft to service.  Elwell emphasized that the same level of transparency, dialog, and all available tools that have created aviation’s incomparable safety record also will apply to the FAA’s ongoing review of the aircraft’s return to service.  Elwell said that the participant’s operational perspective is critical input as the agency welcomes scrutiny on how it can do better.  As the meeting concluded, Elwell committed to the participants that the agency values transparency on its work toward the FAA’s decisions related to the aircraft.

(Source: FAA. Image from file)

FMI: Draft Document

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