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BOEING 737 MAX CERTIFICATION FLIGHTS START

Pilots and test crew members from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing Co. are slated to begin a three-day certification test campaign for the 737 MAX on Monday, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.


The test is a pivotal moment in Boeing’s worst-ever corporate crisis, long since compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic that has slashed air travel and jet demand, Eric M. Johnson and David Shepardson wrote for Reuters on June 29, 2020.

The grounding of the fast-selling 737 MAX in March 2019 after crashes killed 346 people in Ethiopia and Indonesia triggered lawsuits, investigations by Congress and the Department of Justice and cut off a key source of Boeing’s cash.

After a preflight briefing over several hours, the crew will board a 737 MAX 7 outfitted with test equipment at Boeing Field near Seattle, one of the people said. The crew will run methodically scripted mid-air scenarios such as steep-banking turns, progressing to more extreme maneuvers on a route primarily over Washington state. The plan over at least three days could include touch-and-go landings at the eastern Washington airport in Moses Lake, and a path over the Pacific Ocean coastline, adjusting the flight plan and timing as needed for weather and other factors, one of the people said.