Two weeks after FAA pilots discovered a new problem regarding the MCAS and the overriding of the system from pilots, Dennis Muilenburg spoke on this matter, without specifying the return to service of the aircraft.
It has been a week since the test pilots of the FAA experienced difficulties to take quickly back control of the Boeing 737 MAX after having activated the flight controls system MCAS, during a flight test. “We have to act, we need to work on the software”, said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s Chairman and CEO. When interviewed about the time it would take to fix the problem and the date of return on service of the aircraft, Dennis Muilenburg answered: “The safety of our airplanes and the crew and passengers who fly on them is our highest priority. We’ll take the time necessary to ensure the 737 MAX safely returns to service.”
In case of inadvertent activation of the MCAS, the pilots are supposed to come back to well known failure management used since 1960 on Boeing 707: prevent the trim tab from operating by disconnecting it. But Boeing was not able to stop the malfunctioning MCAS and needs to modify the software. The problem was identified through a flight computer which registered a complication during the processing of data.
“There is an additional flight condition we must address to reduce pilot workload and ensure the safety of the airplane and the flying public”, said the CEO. No date has been released for the return on flight, neither by Boeing nor by Dennis Muilenburg. However, the aircraft manufacturer from Seattle specified it will not offer the 737 Max for certification by the FAA until “we have satisfied all requirements for certification of the MAX and its safe return to service.”