By Francis Ogwo
Exactly 20 months after the fatal crash of the Boeing 737 MAX, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) yesterday cleared the way for the aircraft to fly the skies again.
Recall that the troubled jet was grounded in the wake of two crashes that claimed 346 lives.
In addition, regulators in other countries want to recertify the aircraft.
According a CNN report, before any of the planes can be flown with passengers again, required changes to the plane must be installed with the agency inspecting the individual jets with the process taking between a few weeks and a few months.
In March 2019, the 737 MAX was grounded after the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 near Addis Ababa, killing all 157 on board. Earlier in 2018, all 189 aboard a Lion Air 737 MAX were killed when it crashed in Indonesia.
A report in September said the crashes were the “horrific culmination” of “repeated and serious failures” by Boeing and the FAA.
The plane maker has said it “learned many hard lessons as a company from the accidents … and from the mistakes we have made.”
Reports revealed that a key safety system called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS was linked to both crashes. The system, designed to help counter a tendency of the plane to pitch up, could be activated after data from only a single sensor.
The FAA now requires new safeguards, including a requirement that it receives data from two sensors.