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737 Max

Is Boeing Keeping Pilots From Testing the MAX Fix?

Is Boeing Keeping Pilots From Testing the MAX Fix?
Joe Cortez

Unionized pilots at American Airlines claim they are getting locked out from testing a safety fix for the Boeing 737 MAX. The Allied Pilots Union is accusing American of not allowing their experts from testing out the proposed software fix – but American says they will get simulator time once the airframe software systems are certified.

Even though Boeing claims a fix is prepared for the Boeing 737 MAX, American Airlines’ pilot’s union say they can’t touch the aircraft simulator yet. Newsy reports safety experts for the Allied Pilots Association allege the airline has not given them access to simulators since the grounding.

In May 2019, the Chicago-based manufacturer claimed a software update is ready for the aircraft, which would make it air worthy once more. However, the airframes remain grounded in the United States and all over the world. American Airlines’ latest round of cancellations extends through Sept. 3, 2019.

With a proposed fix offered, American Airlines’ pilots say they are ready to test the changes. However, their union is accusing the Fort Worth-based carrier of banning them from accessing the simulators to see if it truly is a fix.

“Frankly, our view is that, after the certification is completed, it would be almost a ceremonial participation,” Allied Pilots Association spokesperson Jason Goldberg told Newsy. “Our view is we’re concerned that that would just give the impression of our approval without us having been involved in the collaborative process of actually getting the aircraft to that point.”

In a previous statement to FlyerTalk, a spokesperson for American said that the pilots would be in the center of any decision to fly the aircraft once more.

“We remain confident that the impending software updates, along with these new training element [sic], will lead to recertification of the aircraft soon,” the airline said. “Our team continues to work collaboratively with the [Federal Aviation Administration], Boeing and the Allied Pilots Association in this process.”

But now, the union is accusing the airline of banning them from gaining access to simulator time to ensure the fix is correct. Speaking to Newsy, the airline claimed pilots could get broader access to simulators once the FAA certifies the software fix.


[Featured Image: Shutterstock]

View Comments (6)


  1. edgewood49

    June 10, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    That sounds reasonable Joe, when the FAA proves then they can have at it. SO having said that Boeing is NOT holding back just following protocol which is what we all expect

  2. horseymike

    June 11, 2019 at 3:35 am

    software fix for max planes is like putting lipstick on a pig. the plane is poorly designed in a rush to compete with airbus. the whole max program should be scrapped. boeing knows how to build a safe plane, they need to do it …again.

  3. sfoeuroflyer

    June 11, 2019 at 8:42 am

    This story makes no sense. AA and UA senior pilots have indeed been testing the fix. Why does the union put out a release which is false. Indeed the WSJ had photos of the AA senior test pilot in the simulator during a test.

  4. Boggie Dog

    June 11, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Chief pilots and other airline senior pilots should be brought into the testing phase of this fix. Seems like Boeing could use all of the input available since they originally failed to produce a safe aircraft.


    June 12, 2019 at 6:12 am

    The root of the problem is the automation, and there is a need to be able to do things under manual control. It’s a problem that also happens in non-aviation entities. I’m sure many of you have problems with spell-correct on your phones while texting. A similar deal here. And with any software application where it puts you in a “loop” unnecessarily. Also why I am against self-driving cars and planes.

    One other issue is the misplaced priorities at Boeing. Namely, getting a legitimate replacement for the 757. Even before the MAX came out, Boeing was trying to sell a “bill of goods” to airlines on the larger 737s as the rightful replacement. The 737-900(regular version) has chronic weight-and-balance issues. Not even close. The A321, though not as good as the 757, is still a better plane than the 737-900.

  6. formeraa

    June 14, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Wait until the 737 MAX 10 comes out. If the 739 has weight and balance issues, then certainly the MAX 10 will be worse. Boeing terminated the 757 program prematurely with no replacement — should have gone with a 757NG. They could have had a shrink to fit the lower end (739 size), an updated equivalent of the 757-200, and an updated version of the 757-300. Seems like they would have sold well!

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