Boeing reportedly restarted deliveries of its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft following the United States aviation regulator’s approval of an electrical issue fix.
Boeing restarted delivering Boeing 737 MAX aircraft according to insider sources, quoted by Reuters on May 19, 2021. The deliveries resumed after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an approval of the latest electrical issue repair, which temporarily grounded 109 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft across the globe.
On April 30, 2021, the FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive requiring Boeing to address an “unsafe condition” of certain Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The move came after Boeing called on 16 737 MAX operators to address the electrical problem on April 9, 2021.
Boeing’s investigation identified a weakening of bonds associated with electrical grounding related to the Standby Power Control Unit (SPCU), the P6 Circuit Breaker Panel, and the Main Instrument Panel (MIP). According to the FAA, such safety concerns, if not addressed, could have an impact on the engine ice protection, and result in loss of critical function or simultaneous flight deck effects, which may prevent the aircraft from safe operations.
Earlier in April 2021, following Boeing’s briefing on certain 737 MAX aircraft electrical issues, Boeing 737 MAX operators voluntarily grounded some of their aircraft awaiting further notice from Boeing. The recent approval of a fix from the FAA may be seen as a relief for air carriers whose Boeing 737 MAX were temporarily grounded, eager to get the aircraft back ahead of the summer travel schedule.
Moreover, the 737 MAX electric issues took a toll on the planemaker’s deliveries as well. In April 2021, Boeing delivered 17 aircraft, four of which were Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. On April 28, 2021, the company’s CEO David Calhoun warned analysts that April 2021 deliveries would be “very light” because of the Boeing 737 MAX latest electrical problems.
The safety concern of a specific group of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft came after the FAA ungrounded the aircraft in the United States on November 18, 2021. The latest problem discovered on the MAX aircraft is known to be unrelated to the flight control system error that contributed to two fatal crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia, claiming 346 lives.