After the fourth and largest model of Boeing’s 737 Max landed safely a Seattle at the end of its first flight on Friday, the CEO of Commercial Airplanes Stan Deal pointed out that the reason for the extended certification process is that Boeing it needs time to develop and certify the additional safety improvements to the MAX required in particular by the European aviation regulator after two fatal accidents.
Consequently, even if the Max 10 originally slated to go into service last year, it won’t do so until 2023 – after at least two years of flight testing – to provide the time to address all regulatory requirements and test all technical details. “We will take our time on this certification,” Deal explained in a short interview, his first since taking over Boeing Commercial Airplanes in October 2019. “We are committed to making further security improvements – he added- and we need time to do that, to allow the regulators to get on the plane“.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (Easa) in January approved the flight of the Max after Boeing did updated the faulty control system directly responsible for accidents in 2018 and 2019. However, EASA insisted that before the Max 10 only entered service after Boeing made further safety improvements. He called for the addition of a third way of measuring the jet’s angle of attack, as well as improvements to the crew’s alarm systems.
The flight control system that went wrong on the flights of the two incidents was triggered by a single faulty reading of the aircraft’s angle of attack. Boeing’s current fix creates a system check that compares angle of attack readings from the two sensors on either side of the cockpit.
However, EASA – as well as critics like famous US pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger – have insisted that two sensors are not enough. Deal confirmed that Boeing engineers are working on a way to provide a third indication of the angle of attack reading before the Max 10 flies passengers.