The FAA Has Found Another Issue With the Boeing 737 MAX

American Airlines MD-80

American Airlines MD-80

Shares of Boeing tumbled Thursday after USA regulators identified a new issue in the Boeing 737 MAX that will likely slow the plane's return to service following two deadly crashes.

In the meantime, the Boeing 737 MAX 8 will remain grounded until the agency is "satisfied that all concerns have been addressed", and "adequate flight crew procedures and training are in place".

The Federal Aviation Administration discovered another potential risk in Boeing's 737 Max 8 jets, which were grounded in the USA and overseas in March after 346 people died in two separate crashes involving the plane. Now, the FAA has discovered an additional issue through flight simulator testing, but have not disclosed specifics on the issue.

The aircraft has been grounded since March when an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed, killing all 157 people on board.

Scott Hamilton of the aviation consultancy Leeham characterized the problem as "another black eye for the airplane" that will add "an indeterminate amount of time to fixing the MAX".

Travel firm TUI (TUIGn.DE) said on Thursday it did not expect an additional financial impact after the FAA's latest warning on the 737 MAX.

"We continue to evaluate Boeing's software modification to the MCAS and we are still developing necessary training requirements", the agency said in its statement.

"On the most recent issue, the FAA's process is created to discover and highlight risks", the FAA said.

Even before this latest issue surfaced, the outlook for getting the planes back in the air was uncertain, in part because the FAA wants other regulators to approve the plane's reentry soon after the USA agency.

The International Air Transport Association, a body representing some 290 airlines and over 80% of global traffic, said technical requirements and timelines for the safe re-entry to service of the 737 MAX should be aligned.

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Boeing Co.'s shares lost 2.4 per cent as the Chicago plane maker grapples with the fallout of two deadly crashes of its 737 Max jet within five months, which prompted a worldwide grounding in March and a string of litigation.

"With the timing of the MAX’s return-to-service still uncertain, we are again revising our plans to remove the MAX from our schedule through Oct 1".

Once regulators approve the MAX for flight, airlines must remove the jets from storage and implement new pilot training, a process that will differ for each airline but that USA carriers have said will take at least one month.

"Aviation can not function efficiently without this coordinated effort and restoring public confidence demands it".

Some airlines and regulators have argued that pilots should be trained in a MAX simulator before flying, though Boeing's minimum training requirements do not call for flight simulators, according to draft proposals.

The agency said Boeing would have to "mitigate" the new risk.

Boeing hasn't presented its final proposed fix to FAA for approval.

Boeing has "invested significant resources" to fulfill its obligations and "is fully committed to meeting the rigorous standards reflected in the settlement agreement", a company spokesperson said. Last week, the company's CEO Dennis Muilenburg also admitted that Boeing made a "mistake" by failing to tell regulators that a safety indicator in the cockpit of the Max jet didn't work properly.

"As this settlement remains open, we can not discuss our current evaluation and potential appropriate actions we may take based on Boeing's performance of the agreement".

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