The Canadian regulator began its own Boeing 737 MAX certification flights on Wednesday, to test updates to the re-engined single-aisle grounded since March 2019.
As announced last week, Transport Canada began on August 26, 2020, its « independent review » of the 737 MAX, after reviewing the data transmitted by the FAA. Like the latter in early July, recertification flights are conducted aboard a 737 MAX 7 (the one registered N7201S); this model had not entered commercial service before the ban of the flight of the three types then certified (with the MAX 8 and MAX 9; the MAX 10 is not yet certified).
The Boeing 737 MAXs, grounded after being involved in two accidents that claimed 346 victims at Lion Air and then Ethiopian Airlines, were in service with Air Canada airlines (24 of the 50 MAX 8 expected have been delivered since December 2017, but eleven MAX 9s were canceled) and WestJet (13 MAX 8 delivered since October 2017 out of 21 expected, 22 MAX 7 and twelve MAX 10 ordered). The certification of the re-engineered single-aisle by Transport Canada will also allow operators such as Icelandair, United Airlines or Aeromexico to use theirs to serve the country’s airports.
Transport Canada « remains committed to ensuring that flight restrictions in Canada are in place until it is fully satisfied that all safety concerns have been addressed by the manufacturer and the FAA, and that Improved procedures and training for the flight crew are in place, ”a spokesperson said.
In early August, the FAA issued four modification requests for the 737 MAX. The first concerns the update of the MCAS anti-stall software, implicated in the two accidents which killed 346 at Lion Air and then Ethiopian Airlines and which, since March 2019, have resulted in the immobilization of all re-powered single aisles. The software managing the alerts must also be updated to clearly indicate the differences in data between AOA probes, as well as the procedures followed by the pilots (training, therefore), while the cabling of the horizontal stabilizers affected by a problem discovered in January will need to be changed. A one-week test should also be carried out to verify the operation of the AOA probes.
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) August 26, 2020