New Delays Could Keep Boeing 737 MAX Grounded Into Holiday Travel Season...
American and United have pushed the MAX's expected return to their schedules into December
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September 2, 2019 - by By Andy Pasztor and Alison Sider for wsj.com
- Boeing since late last year has either submitted, or been on the verge of submitting, three earlier versions of the software fixes, only to be delayed by various technical challenges... (Is this the fault of Boeing MAX cheap labor India subcontractor again?)
Friction between Boeing Co. BA 0.37% and international air-safety authorities threatens a new delay in bringing the grounded 737 MAX fleet back into service, according to government and pilot union officials briefed on the matter.
The latest complication in the long-running saga, these officials said, stems from a Boeing briefing in August that was cut short by regulators from the U.S., Europe, Brazil and elsewhere, who complained that the plane maker had failed to provide technical details and answer specific questions about modifications in the operation of MAX flight-control computers.
Boeing as a result now has to resubmit briefing documents describing proposed software changes, these people said. The changes then have to be vetted by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration before a follow-up meeting with the same participants can be held and crucial simulator and flight tests of the final software revisions scheduled.
The upshot, the people said, is likely to be several more weeks of delay that could significantly reduce the likelihood that many of the planes would be back flying passengers in North America during the Christmas holidays, as Boeing and some U.S. carriers have publicly projected.
The meetings and the fallout haven't been reported before.
In Europe, some industry officials say they are increasingly convinced the bulk of the planes on that side of the Atlantic aren't likely to resume carrying passengers until January at the earliest.
European regulators have signaled they might need the extra time to examine anticipated changes to the MAX's flight-control computers and the automated stall-prevention system dubbed MCAS.
Misfires in MCAS led to the crashes of two MAX aircraft in less than five months that took a total of 346 lives and prompted a global grounding in mid-March.
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