New FAA chief Stephen Dickson to meet with Boeing officials, plans to test 737 MAX simulator

Boeing has said it plans to conduct a certification test flight in the “September time frame” but Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg did not give a specific date when asked last week.

Reuters September 17, 2019 17:06:33 IST
New FAA chief Stephen Dickson to meet with Boeing officials, plans to test 737 MAX simulator
  • Dickson has no firm timeline for the grounded 737 MAX to resume flights or when Boeing will turn over final documentation

  • Boeingâ��s board is expected to consider changes proposed by a board committee later this week

  • Boeing has said it plans to conduct a certification test flight in the September time frame

Washington: New Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief Stephen Dickson plans to fly to Seattle this week to fly “newly configured” Boeing 737 MAX software in a simulator and will visit with Boeing officials, the agency said Monday.

Boeing plans to revise the 737 MAX software to take input from both angle-of-attack sensors in the MCAS anti-stall system linked to two deadly crashes that led to a global grounding of the plane in March. But it is not clear when it will conduct a key certification test flight, a step needed before the FAA can return the plane to service.

New FAA chief Stephen Dickson to meet with Boeing officials plans to test 737 MAX simulator

Cockpit of Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Reuters

The FAA confirmed that Dickson, who took over as administrator in mid-August, has no firm timeline for the grounded 737 MAX to resume flights or when Boeing will turn over final documentation. The FAA said Dickson also plans to visit with the FAA aircraft certification team in Seattle.

Separately, a spokeswoman for Representative Peter DeFazio, who chairs the House Transportation Committee, confirmed that Boeing had declined his invitation to testify at an upcoming House hearing.

“Boeing is working diligently and transparently with committees in both the House (of Representatives) and the Senate to ensure that proper information is being shared and we will continue to do so,” the company said in an e-mailed statement.

Boeing’s board is expected to consider changes proposed by a board committee later this week, people briefed on the matter said. Reuters reported in August that the committee review would find the company needs to reorganize its engineering reporting lines company-wide and ensure higher-ranking officials, including its CEO, get faster feedback about potential safety concerns from lower levels of the company.

The changes are intended to boost the transparency of engineering decisions and accelerate efforts to share safety information as widely and swiftly as possible across Boeing’s global businesses and factories, Reuters reported.

Boeing has said it plans to conduct a certification test flight in the “September time frame” but Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg did not give a specific date when asked last week.

Federal prosecutors aided by the FBI, the Department of Transportation’s inspector general and several blue-ribbon panels are investigating the 737 MAX as well as how the FAA certifies new aircraft.

Major US airlines have cancelled flights into December as a result of the MAX grounding, including American Airlines Group Inc and United Airlines, while Southwest Airlines Co has cancelled flights into early January.

Updated Date:

also read

Boeing faces colossal challenge in arresting PR damage: Industry experts say company's stand lacks clarity, transparency
World

Boeing faces colossal challenge in arresting PR damage: Industry experts say company's stand lacks clarity, transparency

No amount of public relations spin can repair the reputational hit from two deadly plane crashes. But Boeing may have further damaged itself with muddled communications that downplayed its responsibility in the disasters

Boeing claims to have successfully tested an updated 737 MAX software
News & Analysis

Boeing claims to have successfully tested an updated 737 MAX software

The company CEO joined a test flight of an updated MCAS anti-stall software on the 737 MAX jetliner.

'No basis' to ground Boeing 737 MAX: US aviation regulator not to suspend planes after Ethiopia air crash
Business

'No basis' to ground Boeing 737 MAX: US aviation regulator not to suspend planes after Ethiopia air crash

Of the top 10 countries by air passenger travel, all but the United States and Japan have halted flights of the 737 MAX.