Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has announced that Boeing completed the final test flight prior to certification testing for software designed to address issues with the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) on the Boeing 737 MAX on Wednesday. MCAS activation in response to faulty angle of attack sensors has been highlighted as a likely factor in the fatal accidents of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610. As shown in the video below, Muilenberg reported that 120 test flights totaling more than 203 hours flight time have now been completed using the new software.
Certifying the software update is just one aspect of returning the MAX to service. As previously reported by AVweb, the FAA recently posted a draft report from the Boeing 737 MAX Flight Standardization Board (FSB) adjusting pilot training requirements for the aircraft. The report added the MCAS to the list of areas that must receive special emphasis during ground training, but is not requiring flight simulator training for the system.
On Wednesday, Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau suggested that while no final decision had been reached, simulator training could be required for MAX pilots in Canada regardless of the FAA’s approach. “Simulators are the very best way from a training point of view to go over exactly what could happen in a real way and to react properly to it,” said Garneau. “It’s not going to be a question of pulling out an iPad and spending an hour on it.”
We’re making steady progress on the path to certification for our 737 MAX software update thanks to the work of our Boeing pilots, engineers and technical experts. pic.twitter.com/DIHrhG2OOi
— Dennis A. Muilenburg (@BoeingCEO) April 18, 2019