FAA gives Boeing’s troubled 737 MAX all-clear over fix for electrical faults

United Airlines Boeing 737 MAX ©AirTeamImages

The fix for electrical faults on the Boeing 737 MAX that forced over 100 of the jets to be grounded in early April has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Two bulletins with appropriate fixes which received FAA approval have been sent to affected carriers.

“After gaining final approvals from the FAA, we have issued service bulletins for the affected fleet,” Boeing told Reuters news agency. “We are also completing the work as we prepare to resume deliveries.” The FAA’s Administrator, Steve Dickson, advised U.S. lawmakers that the electrical issue would need a “pretty straightforward fix,” and that he remained fully confident in the safety of the troubled jet which had only returned to the skies in November 2020 after a 20-month grounding following two fatal crashes.

The electrical problem was a consequence in a change to manufacturing methods of the jet in order to speed up productivity. Initially, only one problem had been identified, which was linked to a back-up power control unit in the cockpit on a number of recently manufactured 737 MAXs. However, the same problem was subsequently discovered in the storage rack where the unit was housed, and the instrument panel facing the pilots. U.S. carriers were hardest hit with 60 of their planes affected out of 109 worldwide.

United Airlines expects its “Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to return to service in the coming days as we complete our inspection process and ensure those aircraft meet our rigorous safety standards.” American Airlines has confirmed that it will begin making required changes and anticipates “all affected aircraft will begin safely returning to service in the upcoming days.” Southwest Airlines with 32 affected planes, said it estimates the work will take two to three days per aircraft and estimates it will take about three weeks to complete the work necessary.

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