EU wants five critical fixes to 737 MAX before re-certification

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A set of discussion points that emphasise key areas the European Air and Space Agency  (EASA) wants resolved before being prepared to consider re-certification of the 737 max family, show their primary concerns about the aircraft and the processes surrounding its operations.

In a week where a ‘lagging’ micro-processor has been labelled as another problem with the aircraft controls systems, and ongoing declining confidence amongst airlines over the reputation of the aircraft and how it reflects on them, topped off with Flyadeal’s 50 aircraft cancellation, just keep up relentless pressure on Boeing.

EASA’s checklist includes:

  1. The potential difficulty pilots have in turning the jet’s manual trim wheel
  2. The unreliability of the MAX’s angle of attack sensors
  3. Inadequate training procedures
  4. A new software issue flagged just last week by the FAA pertaining to a lagging microprocessor
  5. A previously unreported concern – the autopilot failing to disengage in certain emergencies.

On top of that there are said to be several non-critical issues that EASA also want resolved.

EASA’s views are now seen as every bit as, if not more important than the FAA’s after that organisations humiliation, and the revelation of its effective surrender of control to self-certification by Boeing. Many of the worlds aviation agencies will only approve re-entry to service if EASA sign off on re-certifying the 737MAX in all its versions.

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Once again, the critical list simply re-emphasises the FAA simply failed miserably during the original certification process, and Boeing itself, while not acting with malice, was and remains institutionally incapable of certifying its own product.

The United States Congress has failed to fund the FAA adequately, allowing and encouraging it to off load its responsibilities over many years, and failing to address the rotating door of employment and specialisms from Boeing to the FAA.

The cost to Boeing will sound high – $2 to 5 billion in victim claims, $1 billion in legal fees, and as much as another $3 billion in compensation to airlines, never mind undisclosed side deals inside contracts that will provide technical and material discounts in lieu of financial payments. Yet the fact is that in the end, Boeing will spread the costs over years, some of it will be insured and amortised, and over time it will barely even notice. This is far more about reputation than the real cost in money.

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