As part of a audit of the Boeing 737 MAX in December 2019 the FAA is reported to be looking into whether two sections of wiring that control the tail of the aircraft are too close together and thus could cause a short circuit, and potentially loss of control of the plane.
The safety audit ordered by the US Federal Aviation Administration, resulted in Boeing (BA) reporting “previously unreported concerns” with wiring in the 737 Max, according to a report from the New York Times.
Later on Sunday 5th January a Boeing spokesperson confirmed the report to CNN Business, saying the issue was identified as part of a “rigorous process” to ensure the safety of the aircraft.
“Our highest priority is ensuring the 737 Max meets all safety and regulatory requirements before it returns to service,” the spokesperson said. “We are working closely with the FAA and other regulators on a robust and thorough certification process to ensure a safe and compliant design.”
The spokesperson said it “would be premature to speculate” whether the discovery will lead to new design changes for the plane, or further extend the timeline for its recertification.
Earlier in December 2019, the company announced it would take the dramatic step of suspending production of the 737 Max considering the continued setbacks to recertification of the aircraft.
Following the resignation of ousted CEO Dennis Muilenburg on December 23, the latest reports suggest that Boeing are taking the matter of safety extremely seriously and that Boeing’s new chief executive, David Calhoun, who officially takes over the job on January 13 from the former CEO is using the current opportunity of recertification of the aircraft to iron out and report all known issues to the FAA.
Transparency appears to be the direction for Boeing under the new leadership of David Calhoun and regaining trust in the product.
Currently hundreds of 737 Max jets are sitting, grounded, as Boeing awaits approval from aviation regulators for the aircraft to return to service.
The 737 MAX was grounded worldwide in March 2019 after two crashes. The company determined a software fix was likely to correct the issue with the automatic safety feature which was determined the cause of the crashes.
Being stated that “A change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence in the company moving forward as it works to repair relationships with regulators, customers, and all other stakeholders.”
Orders for the 737 Max dried up following the grounding, and it wasn’t until November that Boeing recorded its first new orders since the grounding. In that time, the company had continued to produce the 737 MAX at a rate of 42 jets a month, in hopes of a quick recertification by airline regulators around the globe. However, as the investigation and fix pushed the process into 2020, Boeing said the plane’s uncertain future had forced it to pause production with approximately 400 737 MAX aircraft the company has in storage awaiting modification and delivery.