Grounded Boeing 737 Max to undergo test flights after crashes that killed 346
◆ Test flights are due to take place this week to help determine whether Boeing’s 737 Max jets can safely return to the skies with passengers on board, writes Rachel Millard.
The bestselling planes were grounded in March last year after two crashes that killed 346 people in Ethiopia and Indonesia, triggering widespread concerns about Boeing’s safety culture and subsequently major financial problems for the giant plane maker.
Test pilots will this week start evaluating proposed changes to the automated flight control system, which was blamed for the crashes.
Boeing has already carried out hundreds of hours of testing in a flight simulator in Washington.
It is unlikely the planes could be allowed to fly again before September, but they could return to passenger service before the end of the year.
A source told Reuters: “[Authorities] will make sure they find enough stuff wrong to demonstrate they are putting this jet through its paces.”