CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration plans to test next month how pilots with around one year of experience flying Boeing 737 jets handle new software on the MAX model, four sources with knowledge of the matter said.
The tests indicate the FAA is making progress in the re-approval process of the MAX for commercial flight. Boeing Co’s latest 737 narrowbody model, the MAX, was grounded worldwide in March following two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people within five months.
Airlines - MAX - Routes - Jet - Engines
Since then, airlines that rushed to buy the MAX to service new and longer routes with the jet’s fuel-efficient engines have had to cancel thousands of flights as they manage slimmer fleets, eating into their profitability.
Boeing, the world’s largest planemaker, has said it is working toward getting the 737 MAX flying again commercially in the early fourth quarter, once the FAA approves new pilot training and reprogrammed software for a stall-prevention system at the center of both crashes.
Part - Testing - Process - Boeing - US
As part of its own testing process Boeing has invited senior U.S. airline pilots to experiment with the software fix and use simulators to run scenarios similar to the ones that led to the two crashes. But the FAA wants to observe relatively inexperienced 737 pilots, the sources said on condition of anonymity because the tests are confidential.
To do so, the FAA asked Southwest Airlines , American Airlines and United Airlines – the three U.S. carriers that operate the MAX – to provide the names of newer 737 line pilots who have flown the MAX at least once, they said.
The exact nature of the...
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