The leading European Aviation Regulator has expressed its satisfaction that the Boeing 737 Max changes have made the aircraft sufficiently safe to return to the air.
Europe’s top-flight regulator said the changes made to the Boeing 737 Max would be satisfied with keeping the aircraft safe enough to return to the region’s skies by the end of 2020, and with the upgrades, his company’s request would not be ready for another two years.
Following the test flights in September, EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky said EASA was conducting final document reviews ahead of a draft aeronautical order expected to be released next month.
It will take four weeks of public comment, while it will take 20 to 24 months to develop so-called artificial sensors to add redundancy, he said. The software-based solution will be needed in the larger Max 10 variant before it is targeted for 2022, and will be reused in other versions.
“Our analysis shows that this is safe, and the level of security achieved is adequate for us,” Patrick said in an interview. “The thing we discussed with Boeing was that with the third sensor, we could achieve even higher security levels.”
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Following several delays and setbacks, these comments mark firm European approvals aimed at returning Boeing’s stumbled workhorse to service by the end of the year.
The latest version of the valuable 737 short body Max, in the wake of two accidents that claimed 346 lives in March 2019, caused Boeing billions of dollars and a crisis for the then CEO’s job.
As the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing’s chief controller prepares to wipe out the plane’s arrival, EASA’s views are particularly weighty, especially in the US in light of the shortcomings of the original certification process that undermined the regulator’s sterling reputation.
Ky said that if one or both of the engine angle attack sensors on the Max fail, the artificial sensor will make the pilots’ job easier. The device, which monitors whether an aircraft is pointing up or down compared to incoming winds, malfunctions in both crashes – the first and fifth months off the coast of Indonesia in October 2018, in Ethiopia.
“We think this is a good development overall, which will increase the level of security,” Ky said. “It’s not available right now. It’s available at the same time as the Max 10 is expected to receive certification.”
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The Max New beginning
The Max episode worsened relations between global aviation authorities, including the FAA and EASA, which acted quickly to bench the jet and put forward demands beyond US requirements to destroy its revenue.
Ky told European company Boeing rival Airbus SE that the relationship between the home controller and its US rival should be rebuilt to improve security without slowing down.
“For the FAA, the Max accident was a tragedy,” he said. “Given the way they perceive their own roles, the way they have been attacked by different stakeholders in the US, the way they have been criticized, it must have been very difficult.”
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FAA’s relationship with Boeing has changed after it was accused of hiding changes that would magnify differences between the Max and previous 737 models to cut costs and reduce training requirements.
“At the end of the day,” he said, “we have a lot of respect for technical expertise at the FAA, and we have a lot of respect for our colleagues, and I want to believe that it’s the same on their side. This is the real important foundation for a relationship to grow again, and it must be based on respect. ”
Another question from Max is that China has increased the demand for aircraft for the coronavirus outbreak this year. Ky said China has been involved in some Max reviews but has not been involved in air testing with regulators and the FAA and EASA from Canada and Brazil. “I don’t know where they are,” he said in their assessment.
Challenges facing Boeing Max
EASA is working with other regulators to apply the lessons learned for future certifications when Max is launched. Modern technology should do a part in evaluating derivative models such as Max that transform old sites. The challenge, he said, is to find the right balance and ensure that pilots have the knowledge needed to fly aircraft safely.
An upcoming descendant is the Boeing 777X, the next version of the 25-year-old wide body. Like many Boeing aircraft, it has two angle-attack sensors (three or more Airbus jets). When discussing the Max, he said the key question when one of the two AOA sensors fails is its impact on aircraft safety.
Although the manoeuvring multiplication method 777X, which played a role in the Max crash, was not included, Ky said that EASA would closely examine the flight control systems of the new 777 and analyze potential points of failure as part of its review.
As for whether this will slow down the European approval process for the wider body, he said: “It depends on whether Boeing can give us the right solutions and the right analysis in risk assessment.”
“There may be other issues; We are truly looking after this new aircraft, ensuring that ours and Boeing’s safety assessment are done correctly, leaving no questions unanswered. ”