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FAA chief set to conduct 737 MAX evaluation flight next week

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Federal Aviation Administration Chief Steve Dickson is set to conduct an evaluation flight at the controls of a Boeing 737 MAX next week, a key milestone as the U.S. planemaker works to win approval to resume flights, the agency told lawmakers.

FILE PHOTO: Grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are seen parked in an aerial photo at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, U.S. July 1, 2019.REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo

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WASHINGTON: Federal Aviation Administration Chief Steve Dickson is set to conduct an evaluation flight at the controls of a Boeing 737 MAX next week, a key milestone as the U.S. planemaker works to win approval to resume flights, the agency told lawmakers.

The Boeing 737 MAX has been grounded since March 2019 after two fatal crashes killed 346 people. Dickson, who was previously a commercial airline pilot, plans to undergo simulator training before the flight and will then share his observations with FAA technical staff.

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It is not typical for an FAA administrator to fly an airplane before it returns to service. Dickson has repeatedly said he would not sign off until he flew it himself and was "satisfied that I would put my own family on it without a second thought."

The FAA told U.S. lawmakers in an email Friday that Dickson and FAA Deputy Administrator Dan Elwell "will be in Seattle next week to take the recommended training." The flight by Dickson will fulfill "his promise to fly the aircraft before the FAA approves its return to service."

Boeing shares were up 6.7per cent.

The FAA and regulators from Canada, European Union Aviation Safety Agency Brazil earlier this week concluded the Joint Operations Evaluation Board (JOEB) assessing Boeings proposed 737 MAX training.

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A draft Flight Standardization Board report including the JOEB findings will released for Read More – Source