10 AUGUST 2020
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Lost within the even graver situation with Covid-19 the Boeing 737 MAX crisis is the biggest calamity to hit civil aviation since the Comet crashes on the 1950s and the Douglas DC10 grounding in 1979.
Whilst the earlier disasters could be said to be part of the growing pains of the jet age, the MAX grounding is unpresented.
Whilst engineers strive to produce an aircraft that is safe to fly in, legislators and lawyers swarm around.
The 737 MAX has been grounded since March 2019 following two fatal crashes which killed 346 people. At that point of time 387 had been delivered with a back order of 4,172. It was expected that production would be at least 40 aircraft a month by now.
After a series of flight tests in July a wide-ranging list of changes have now been put forward by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), the US regulator. Boeing now says it expects to put the aircraft into service early next year. Proposed changes include updating flight control software, revising crew procedures and rerouting internal wiring. Whether these will satisfy other regulators around the world remains to be seen, their confidence with the FAA shattered to some extent.
The pandemic has been a saviour for Boeing. 737s for the most part are not flying.
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