The Federal Aviation Administration has "recently found a potential risk" with the Boeing 737 Max airplane that "Boeing must mitigate," according to a Wednesday statement from the FAA.
The statement reads:
"The FAA is following a thorough process, not a prescribed timeline, for returning the Boeing 737 Max to passenger service. The FAA will lift the aircraft’s prohibition order when we deem it is safe to do so. We continue to evaluate Boeing’s software modification to the MCAS and we are still developing necessary training requirements. We also are responding to recommendations received from the Technical Advisory Board (TAB). The TAB is an independent review panel we have asked to review our work regarding 737 Max return to service.
On the most recent issue, the FAA’s process is designed to discover and highlight potential risks. The FAA recently found a potential risk that Boeing must mitigate."
According to a source familiar with the situation, the potential risk was found during simulator testing last week at Boeing.
"FAA test pilots discovered an issue that affected their ability to quickly and easily follow the required recovery procedures for runaway stabilizer trim," the source said. "The issue was traced to how data is being processed by the flight computer."
Wednesday, Boeing issued a response.
"The safety of our airplanes is Boeing’s highest priority," a Boeing spokesperson said. "During the FAA’s review of the 737 MAX software update and recent simulator sessions, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) identified an additional requirement that it has asked the company to address through the software changes that the company has been developing for the past eight months. The FAA review and process for returning the 737 MAX to passenger service are designed to result in a thorough and comprehensive assessment. Boeing agrees with the FAA's decision and request, and is working on the required software. Addressing this condition will reduce pilot workload by accounting for a potential source of uncommanded stabilizer motion. 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."
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