The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has a list of five items that need to be addressed before they’ll recertify the Boeing 737 MAX>
One of those items suggests a problem that hasn’t previously been disclosed about the aircraft: the auto-pilot apparently isn’t properly disengaging in emergencies.
EASA’s checklist includes a number of issues that have been disclosed: the potential difficulty pilots have in turning the jet’s manual trim wheel, the unreliability of the Max’s angle of attack sensors, inadequate training procedures, and a software issue flagged just last week by the FAA pertaining to a lagging microprocessor. But the agency also listed a previously unreported concern: the autopilot failing to disengage in certain emergencies.
Details on the conditions under which the auto-pilot won’t promptly disengage aren’t yet available. However crucial seconds may matter in an emergency and this item is listed among critical issues Boeing must address. The FAA is looking to re-certify in conjunction with other major regulators, so EU insistence effectively means that Boeing has to solve this problem before the plane can fly again in the U.S. as well.