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Airline Passenger Group Criticizes FAA’s Proposed 737 MAX Fixes

Consumer advocacy organization says the agency’s changes to the aircraft are not supported by data

October 8, 2020, the airline passenger advocacy organization, says it has submitted comments criticizing FAA’s proposed fixes for the Boeing 737 MAX as inadequate and not supported by data.

However it appears the aircraft may be on its way to recertification following a test flight last week with the FAA’s administrator Steve Dickson at the controls.

At a press conference after the test run, Dickson said, “I liked what I saw, so it responded well.” However, Dickson said the agency is still reviewing its technical and test flight data, will not rush the re-certification process.

The 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019 following two fatal crashes in which the aircraft’s flawed MCAS flight control system played a major part.

In a statement, Paul Hudson, president of and member of the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, said, “The 737 MAX debacle should motivate any concerned person to want independent experts to evaluate the 737 MAX fixes and technical details and for the FAA and Boeing to implement all of the Joint Authorities Technical Review (JATR) recommendations.”

The organization’s criticisms come on the heels of a report released last month by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that faulted both the Boeing Company and the Federal Aviation Administration over the troubled development and eventual certification of the 737 MAX.

Comments in the white paper include criticism of FAA’s lack of transparency and supporting data, flaws in the 737 MAX’s aerodynamics, MCAS software problems, overall criticisms of FAA and Boeing’s safety culture and delegations of safety certification to Boeing, and needed revisions to flight crew manuals and training.

The FAA is poised to review these comments and decide whether to revise its proposed Airworthiness Directive. argues that the FAA needs to disclose the technical details of its proposed fixes so that independent experts can evaluate the proposed changes.