Just a few weeks ago, officials with the FAA and Boeing had suggested the 737 Max could be certified to fly airline passengers again by the end of this month. But things changed. A statement from the regulatory agency says as part of a process designed to discover and highlight potential risks, “the FAA found a potential risk that Boeing must mitigate.” The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it identified the “potential risk” during simulator tests, but did not reveal specific details. Almost 500 Boeing 737 Max planes remain grounded worldwide. No date has yet been announced for the 737 Max’s return to service.
Some of the planes are factory fresh, not able to be delivered to their destinations. Many carriers have removed them from their flight schedules through September and into October. The latest versions of Boeing’s popular jet were grounded in March after two crashes, Lion Air flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, that killed 346 people. In simulator tests, government pilots discovered that a microprocessor failure could push the nose of the plane toward the ground. “Boeing 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,” the company said.