Joint Authorities Technical Review - Boeing 737 MAX Flight Control System

Publication info
Author: 
FAA
Category: 
Publications
Date of publication: 
11/10/2019

On October 29, 2018, Lion AIR Flight JT610 (JT610), a B737-8 MAX, crashed shortly after takeoff in Jakarta, Indonesia. On November 7, 2018, the FAA issued Emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2018-23-51 to require revising certificate limitations and operating procedures of the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) for the B737 MAX to provide the flight crew with runaway horizontal stabilizer trim procedures to follow under certain conditions. On March 10, 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 (ET302), also a B737-8 MAX, crashed shortly after takeoff in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. On March 13, 2019, the FAA issued an emergency order prohibiting operation of the B737 MAX in the United States. Because of apparent similarities in factors that may have contributed to these accidents, the FAA Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety established a Joint Authorities Technical Review (JATR) to review the type certification of the flight control system on the B737 MAX. The FAA chartered the JATR to review the work conducted during the B737 MAX certification program, to assess whether compliance was shown with the required applicable airworthiness standards related to the flight control system and its interfaces, and to recommend improvements to the certification process if warranted. Of particular concern to the FAA in chartering the JATR was the function, evaluation, and certification of the MCAS function on the B737 MAX.3 The JATR team's review also focused on flight crew training and operational suitability of the design. The JATR team considered whether the appropriate regulations and policy were applied, as well as how applicable regulations and policy material could be improved to enhance safety.

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