Boeing 737MAX. Photo: Boeing.

Miami – A training review for grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is set to begin in London on Monday according to the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The Joint Operations Evaluation Board includes civil aviation authorities along with airline flight crews from the U.S., Brazil, Canada, and the European Union. The Board will meet at London Gatwick Airport (LGW) for around nine days “to review Boeing’s proposed training for 737 MAX Flight Crews.”

Flightdeck of the first 737MAX8 for Air Italy. Picture by Bernie Leighton.

A Troubled Aircraft

Despite selling extremely well, the aircraft has been grounded globally since March 2019 after two fatal crashes claimed 346 lives.

Boeing executives Keith Leverkuhn and Michael Teal, who managed the development of the 737 MAX, told investigators that the design of MCAS, the flight control system blamed for the fatal crashes, met company and federal certification and safety requirements.

Having announced technical fixes soon after the fatal accidents, Boeing now expects approvals “in time to support resumption of deliveries during the fourth quarter.” On Friday a Boeing spokesman further stated that all remaining steps are “incorporated in our estimate. Not new hurdles or comment periods we didn’t expect.”

Return to Service

The results of the nine-day review at LGW shall be available in the draft of an FAA Flight Standardization Board Report with an opening for public comment. FAA administrator Steve Dickson, a former Delta Airlines pilot, will then undergo training before performing an evaluation flight on a Boeing 737 MAX following earlier flight tests by Canadian authorities and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.

Following the flight test, the FAA and the multi-agency technical advisory board will determine compliance before the FAA submits a final determination of compliance. The FAA will then issue a notice of pending significant safety actions and publish a final directive addressing known issues for grounding. It will also advise operators of required corrective actions before allowing the aircraft to reenter commercial service.

The grounding order will then be rescinded with the FAA authorizing the issuance of airworthiness and export certificates for all 737 MAX aircraft manufactured since the global grounding following individual aircraft inspection.

Chances of the Boeing 737 MAX reentering service soon are very strong, pending a successful approval process.

Featured image: Boeing 737 MAX 7 Photo: Boeing