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December 13, 2019 - by Jon Ostrower for theaircurrent.com
The final ungrounding order by the Federal Aviation Administration to return Boeing's 737 Max to airline service won't come until at least mid-February, according to a consensus among regulators, airlines and industry stakeholders. Driving the prolonged process is a combination of factors, including a yet-to-commence software audit, the jet's final certification flight and the Joint Operation Evaluation Board (JOEB) review that is now facing added uncertainty following a week of airline line pilot evaluations that yielded confusing results.
Southwest Airlines and United Airlines today all have the 737 Max restarting operations during the first week of March, American Airlines to April 7, but with the timeline pushing deeper into 2020, the likelihood of further disruption to their schedules is nearly assured.
During the recent pilot trials, which tested how crews react to various scenarios involving the revised 737 Max flight control software and new checklists, all the pilots managed to get themselves out of trouble, but Boeing and regulators found that "more than half…of pilots responded with the wrong procedures,"...
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