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Safety Test Flights For The Grounded Boeing 737 Max To Be Started By The EU

Safety Test Flights For The Grounded Boeing 737 Max To Be Started By The EU
The European Union is to conduct test flights for the grounded 737 Max planes of Boeing for the first time since the planes were globally grounded in March last year.
In the week beginning 7 September, the tests would take place in Vancouver, Canada, said the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
The 737 Max planes, the best selling ones from the stable of Boeing, were grounded globally after two fatal crashes involving them in which all of the 346 people onboard the flights were killed.
Two months ago, similar test flights were started for the 737 Max planes by regulators in the United States too.
However, clearance of the planes on safety issues by the US Federal Aviation Administration will not automatically men that the planes are cleared to be flown in Europe, the EASA has maintained.
It had been "working steadily, in close co-operation with the FAA and Boeing, to return the Boeing 737 Max aircraft to service as soon as possible, but only once it is convinced it is safe", the agency said.
The Covid-19 travel restrictions between Europe and the US have hindered the process of scheduling the test flights, it said.
"While Boeing still has some final actions to close off, EASA judges the overall maturity of the re-design process is now sufficient to proceed to flight tests. These are a prerequisite for the European agency to approve the aircraft's new design," it added.
Starting September 1, simulator tests for the planes’ safety will be conducted at London's Gatwick airport, EASA said.
On the other hand, suggestions for a wide ranging list of changes that should be made on the 737 Max planes before the planes can fly again commercially have been made by the FAA. These changes include rerouting internal wiring, revision of crew procedures and updating flight control software.
Boeing hopes that the 737 Max will be able to fly again in the air early next year.
Two deadly crashes - a Lion Air flight and an Ethiopian Airlines flight - within a span of five months of each other, prompted regulators across the world to ground the 737 Max planes.
The two crashes resulted in the death of all 346 passengers and crew on the flights.
The grounding of the planes prompted a financial crisis at the 103 year old company along with filing of numerous law suits by the families of the victims of the accidents and serious questions about the safety approval process of Boeing and the FAA were raised all across the world.
Faults in the flight control system were held responsible for the crashes by the investigators. Boeing has been in the process of overhauling the systems for months to that the new safety demands are met with the renovated 737 Max planes

Christopher J. Mitchell

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