Boeing has been working on the necessary software updates to make this plane airworthy again, and in mid-May they claimed that it was complete. At that point they just had to get the updates certified.
Well over a month later another major issue was discovered with the plane, as FAA pilots uncovered a data processing issue impacting their ability to perform the procedure for counteracting “runaway stabiliser.”
When should we expect Boeing to find a fix to this, and just how much of a delay will this cause? Let’s keep in mind that up until several days ago, many people (including some airline executives) thought that the 737 MAX could be flying again by August.
That’s definitely not happening now. Boeing has now stated that it will take until at least September to fix the newly discovered issue with the 737 MAX. OUCH.
So that’s about three months to find a fix, and that’s the best case scenario. Then they’re going to have to go through the process of actually getting the plane certified again, which I imagine will take at least several more weeks.
Keep in mind this most recent issue was discovered about six weeks after the previous software update was supposedly complete.
I would assume that the FAA will take at least another couple of months to certify the plane after a fix is found to this issue, especially in light of this further issue arising.
Given that all of this is best case scenario, I’d say it would be very surprising if the Boeing 737 MAX is back in the skies in 2019.
While it seems like Boeing and airlines are rushing to get the 737 MAX back into the skies (based on the fact that it was FAA pilots who discovered this flaw, and that some airline executives have suggested that it’s just “politics” keeping the plane from flying), it seems like the FAA is finally taking their time, realizing how much credibility has been lost in this process.
Even once the FAA certifies the plane, it will be up to aviation authorities in other countries to decide if they feel the plane is safe again.
Want to place your bet as to when the 737 MAX will be back in the skies?