EASA Establishes its conditions for return the 737 Max

Today on November 24, 2020 the European Aviation Safety Agency has issued a Proposed Airworthiness Directive (PAD) related to the return of the 737 Max to Europe Sky. As known by many the aircraft has been grounded for 20 months. So, the experts of the European agency have been working and closely following the case to declare the aircraft safe.

EASA made clear from the outset that we would conduct our own objective and independent assessment of the 737 MAX, working closely with the FAA and Boeing, to make sure that there can be no repeat of these tragic accidents, which touched the lives of so many people

EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky

So the executive director has said they have performed their own assessment in the design of the aircraft and the result of the investigation involved how this plane flies and the work that represents to fly the plane by a pilot.

EASA’s review of the 737 MAX began with the MCAS but went far beyond

EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky

They reviewed the entire flight control system to assess all aspects of design which could influence how the flight controls operated. The review was deeper to study the wiring installation, the reason why this is issued (the PAD). They subjected the aircraft to different scenarios to see the stability of the aircraft even without the MCAS.

The antistall system. Source: Norebbo.com and spectrum.ieee.org

The sensors and alerts to the pilot was another factor, therefore human factors were involved. This related to training of the pilots that did not know the MCAS was there. In this way the procedures and training are needed.

AoA sensors. Source:www.fierceelectronics.com

The EASA proposes a final Airworthiness Directive with the changes to the aircraft design along with the training programme for pilots to be familiar with the flight control systems.

This proposed directive is open for consultation period of 28 days and before publishing the final airworthiness directive there will be a review of comments made in the consultation period. The final publication of the Airworthiness Directive stands for the formal ungrounding decision of the 737 Max expected in Mid-January, allowing the operators of the EASA member states to fly.

The EASA requires same changes proposed by FAA but differs in two things dictated below:

EASA explicitly allows flight crews to intervene to stop a stick shaker from continuing to vibrate once it has been erroneously activated by the system, to prevent this distracting the crew. EASA also, for the time being, mandates that the aircraft’s autopilot should not be used for certain types of high-precision landings. The latter is expected to be a short-term restriction

EASA

Independently some countries in Europe by their own prohibited operates the 737 Max because of their sovereign airspace. the agency will order to lift the prohibitions, so EASA is working with these countries to lift this bans and the Max could fly.

The system related to the AoA sensor was a deal that EASA has agreed with Boeing, and this last will work to increase the resilience of it. Boeing will also conduct a complementary Human Factor assessment of its crew alerting systems within the next 12 months. All of these to improve the design approach.

References:

EASA

https://www.easa.europa.eu/newsroom-and-events/press-releases/easa-lays-out-its-proposed-conditions-return-service-boeing-737

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