Transport Canada will become the first foreign aviation agency to flight test the changes to the Boeing 737 MAX with a few hops that will originate in Canada but be conducted over Washington State. In late June, the FAA did its flight evaluation of changes to the flight control software that will change the way the aircraft’s background automated flight systems operate. Several other jurisdictions want to fly the changes before signing off on them and Canada will get its chance this coming week. The test aircraft will make the 20-minute hop from near Seattle to Vancouver to pick up the Transport Canada inspectors and the tests will be done over Washington. The Canadians will be dropped off in Vancouver after the flight, thus avoiding any issues from the COVID-19-related closure of the border between the two countries.
In addition to the software and dual sensor agreement changes that resulted from the MAX recertification, Canada wants pilots to be able to disable the stick shaker in the aircraft when it’s clearly been triggered erroneously. As an interim measure, Canada wants a change to the operating manual to show the location of the circuit breaker for the stick shaker but it also wants Boeing to come up with a switch of some sort to turn it off. The stick shaker operated throughout the Ethiopian Airlines MAX crash sequence and Canadian authorities believe it was a significant distraction to the pilots. Three Canadian airlines operate the MAX.