The chief of the Federal Aviation Administration is preparing to test out later this week the company’s software changes to its 737 Max airplane, he announced on Monday.
The Boeing 737 Max was grounded in March after a second fatal crash in less than half a year killed hundreds of people. Investigators said at the time that the cause of both disasters was flight-control software that repeatedly pushed the nose of the planes down.
Since then, the manufacturer has been working on software changes, which Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said would be formally submitted later this month. The 737 Max model is expected to be cleared for flying in the fourth quarter of the year, although Muilenburg said recently that there may be disagreement among aviation regulators as to when to allow the planes to resume flying.
Newly appointed FAA administrator and former Delta Air Lines executive Stephen Dickson said he would travel to Seattle, where the model is produced, to test the changes in a flight simulator.
“I’m anxious to get out to Seattle later this week and look into this myself and see where we are with the certification process,” Dickson said. “I can guarantee you that the airplane will not be flying again until I’m satisfied that it’s the safest thing out there.”
He further noted that there is no set timeline for now for allowing the 737 Max to fly again. The planes’ grounding has resulted in thousands of canceled flights during the summer season.