PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - MAX’s Return Delayed by FAA Reevaluation of 737 Safety Procedures
Old 5th Sep 2019, 21:49
  #2200 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: London, UK
Posts: 329
It seems EASA are asking questions that Boeing and the FAA are going to struggle to answer.

EASA are asking Boeing to address aerodynamic stability with MCAS turned off. As I understand it, MCAS is only required because without it the Max does not meet the certification performance standard. So that will be an interesting conversation.

They have further asked Boeing to demonstrate the loads on the trim wheel are acceptable, which given that the stabiliser is larger, the trim wheel smaller, and sky goddesses more common, should also be an interesting conversation.

I don't think it is a given the public will flock to the Max once it is cleared to fly: occasional travellers may not know what they are flying on but if frequent fliers avoid the Max that will have an impact. My frequent flier colleagues all plan to avoid it out of disgust with Boeing: they acknowledge it will be safe if recertified, but that is a secondary consideration for them. If the FAA say it is OK, and EASA are ballsy enough to say it isn't, my guess is outside North America it will stay grounded: and a lot of Americans will think twice.

It seems US airlines are very aware of the potential toxicity of the Max: are bookings down on airlines with the Max in their fleet? Noticeable that all the major airlines have said they won't bring the Max back before Thanksgiving, presumably because they need people to book flights. Christmas is next. The offer of free transfers of Max flights by some airlines suggests people are already voting with their feet and the airlines are being forced to respond.

Despite Boeings best efforts, the general public are not buying 'pilot error'. If the problems with the Max, and the culture that led to the problems, were not deep seated it would be flying again by now. Boeing are still on the back foot: this is getting uglier by the day.
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