FAA Identifies New Issue With 737 MAX

Jun 26, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

An un-grounding date for Boeing’s 737 MAX is not yet on the horizon.

As Boeing works with airlines, regulators and other stakeholders to fix a flight control system suspected of contributing to two fatal crashes of the airliner, the Federal Aviation Administration found a previously-unknown flaw that it will require Boeing to fix.

According to a source familiar with the situation, the software update proposed by Boeing was undergoing simulator testing last week. During the test, the source said, FAA pilots discovered an issue that affected their ability to recover from a runaway stabilizer trim. The issue was eventually traced to how the flight computers were processing data.

Runaway stabilizer trim is a signal of activation of the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, the flight-control code suspected of being at the root of the two accidents, which killed 346 people.

“The safety of our airplanes is Boeing’s highest priority,” a Boeing spokesman said in an email, confirming that the FAA had identified the issue during a simulator session.”Boeing agrees with the FAA’s decision and request, and is working on the required software,” the company’s statement added. “Addressing this condition will reduce pilot workload by accounting for a potential source of uncommanded stabilizer motion,” Boeing said. Stabilizers are the part of a plane’s tail that controls pitch, i.e. points the nose up or down.

The FAA said it will not announce a date to lift the MAX grounding order until all issues with the plane are addressed.

“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,” the agency said in a statement. “We continue to evaluate Boeing’s software modification to the MCAS and we are still developing necessary training requirements.”

Meanwhile, airlines continue to push back their planned reintroduction of the MAX into service. United Airlines announced Wednesday that the plane would be off its schedule until at least Sept. 3. American Airlines made a similar announcement earlier this month, but last week, American’s CEO seemed to suggest the plane may be out of service beyond that date. The groundings have resulted in thousands of canceled flights every month as airlines struggle to cope with the resulting shortage of aircraft.

Featured photo by Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.