737 MAX 8 Return Delayed by FAA Safety Procedure Review For Older 737s

The FAA is evaluating whether pilot retraining is necessary to prepare them to address nose-down events caused by automated flight controllers.
John Loeffler

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft will remain grounded a little while longer while the Federal Aviation Administration conducts a safety review of the training procedures for pilots of older 737 models.

737 MAX 8 Return to the Air Delayed Again

Boeing's beleagured 737 MAX 8 aircraft will remain grounded for a little while longer while the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conducts a  review of the emergency safety procedures of older models of 737 aircraft to determine whether there needs to be additional training to address a nose-down event caused by the automated flight controller.


The Wall Street Journal was the first to report this afternoon that the FAA had expanded its review of the safety procedures of the 737 MAX 8 to include older models of the aircraft. While the safety of the aircraft themselves aren't in question, regulators and safety officials are conducting a wide review of the 737 line's safety procedures to ensure that pilots receive the proper training to handle unexpected in-cockpit emergencies, such as the automated flight controller engaging to create a nose-down event similar to the ones believed to have led to the crashes of Lion Air 610 out of Jakarta and Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 from Addis Ababa in October 2018 and March 2019, respectively.

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The FAA's review of these safety procedures, and its expansion to other aircraft in the 737 line, is a major contributor to the delay of the certification of Boeing's fix for the 737 MAX 8 aircraft. First announced in at the end of March, and then delayed after an internal software review, and then finally completed earlier this month, the software fix has yet to be approved, and until it is, all 400 737 MAX 8 aircraft in the world will continue to remain on the ground.