Canada and Europe are doing their own test flights to re-certify the Boeing 737 MAX, which Boeing now refuses to call the MAX, instead of just relying on the FAA.
But the U.S. wouldn’t let Canadian and European inspectors into the U.S. to test the plane with Boeing – because coronavirus (the regulators might bring the virus into the U.S.). So regulators get picked up in Vancouver by Boeing, flown to Beoing field and back.
Canada has conducted its validation, and European regulators will head to Canada to do the same in a week and a half,
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency will carry out the validation flights from Vancouver in the week of Sept. 7, EASA said Thursday. The tests will be preceded by simulator sessions in the U.K. this coming week.
The breakthrough gets around health-related U.S. travel restrictions that have frustrated efforts to assess Boeing’s fixes to the Max, which was idled worldwide after two deadly crashes. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration conducted certification flights two months ago, followed by Canada this week.
Looks like Transport Canada's about to begin its #737MAX validation flight from KBFI. The call sign BOE701 is the same as the FAA cert flights. Sorry Vancouver planespotters! pic.twitter.com/mxXCyZlP7Z
— Julie Johnsson (@juliejohnsson) August 26, 2020
Canada had previously said the computerized MCAS systemw ould havee to go before re-certifying the plane. That was never going to happen, and they’ve clearly backed off of that position. Boeing has updated the MAX so that both Angle of Attack sensors have to match before engaging the MCAS system.
Last month American Airlines President Robert Isom said the 737 MAX could by again by December and things look on track for that. American has moved MAXs out of storage in Roswell to their maintenance base in Tulsa.
I’ve said that the U.S. ban on travel from Europe makes no sense and that’s true even with a resurgence of the virus in parts of Europe. There’s substantially more virus in the U.S. than Europe. And it’s absurd that outright bans, rather than testing (or even quarantine!), last this long into the pandemic – even more absurd that European regulators need a Canadian workaround to test the MAX.