FAA Administrator Steve Dickson to test fly 737 MAX

Federal Aviation Administrator Steve Dickson

Top officials from the Federal Administration Aviation (FAA) including Administrator Steve Dickson will participate in a full motion 737 MAX simulator before test flying the aircraft, to mimic the training that all MAX pilots would have to eventually take.

“FAA Administrator Steve Dickson and FAA Deputy Administrator Dan Elwell will be in Seattle next week to take the recommended training that the JOEB evaluated. Following the simulator training, Administrator Dickson is tentatively scheduled to pilot a Boeing 737 MAX on September 30, 2020, fulfilling his promise to fly the aircraft before the FAA approves its return to service.”

The statement published by FOX Business, was distributed to members of Congress late Friday after the Joint Operations Evaluation Board (JOEB) concluded its review of the jet.

The documentation also noted, “The FAA will not approve the plane for return to passenger service until it is satisfied that all of the known issues have been adequately addressed.”

Earlier that day, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency signaled that the jet could return to service before the end of this year.

Two crashes of the 737 MAX in October 2018 and March 2019 killed 346 people resulting in the grounding of the brand new jets.

About 275 aircraft were flying for airlines when the grounding hit, and Boeing continued to build more than 500 planes on the expectation that the grounding would be lifted within a few months. 

Once built, Boeing had to park the jets at company facilities in Renton, Moses Lake, Seattle, San Antonio and other sites.

Investigations concluded that a software feature called Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) deployed unexpectedly, forcing down the nose of both planes and causing the pilots to lose control.  

A recently released U.S. House report condemns both Boeing and the FAA for safety failures.

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg News