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27 Jun 2019

Ban on Boeing 737 Max extended by regulators

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reported to have found new potential risks in the Boeing 737 Max planes.

On Wednesday the US aviation regulator said that Boeing must address the new issue before allowing their jet to return to service.

Following news of this, United Airlines has become the latest carrier to have extended its ban on using Boeing 737 Max, joining other airline companies, including American and Southwest.

For the time being, United have placed the ban until 3 September, which has resulted in them cancelling 1,900 scheduled flights with the planes that were grounded due to two deadly crashes within five months.

During a simulator test that took place last week the issue was identified, but it was not clear as to whether this could be addressed with a software update or would require a more complex hardware fix.

Boeing has been working to get its best-selling plane back into the air after the crashes, which took place in Indonesia and Ethiopia. However, this new problem means they will not be able to conduct a certification test flight until at least 8 July.

The FAA will be taking two to three weeks to review results of the certification test for the Boeing 737 Max before deciding whether the plane can return to service of not. However, they have not elaborated much on this latest setback.

Since the crash in Indonesia in October, the world’s largest plane maker had been working on an upgrade for their stall-prevention system, known as MCAS, following news that the pilots were believed to have lost a tug of war with software that repeatedly pushed the nose down.

In a statement made to Reuters, FAA representatives said:

“On the most recent issue, the FAA’s process is designed to discover and highlight potential risks. The FAA recently found a potential risk that Boeing must mitigate.

“The FAA will lift the aircraft’s prohibition order when we deem it is safe to do so.”

Boeing, commenting on this matter, said that they were “working closely with the FAA to safely return the MAX to service.”

By Lyba Nasir