International Panel To Convene on Max 8 Certification Probe

 - April 15, 2019, 8:52 AM
The FAA has taken the unusual step of forming an international Joint Authorities Technical Review in its investigation into the certification of the Boeing 737 Max 8 automated flight control system. (Photo: Boeing)

According to a Reuters report, a growing international panel of aviation authorities is joining the FAA’s Joint Authorities Technical Review (JATR) to aid in the probe into the certification of the Boeing Max 8, and specifically its flight control system. So far, EASA, China, Ethiopia, and Indonesia have been joined by aviation authorities from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Singapore, and the UAE.

The FAA announced the formation of the JATR on April 2, saying: “The JATR will conduct a comprehensive review of the certification of the automated flight control system on the Boeing 737 Max aircraft. The JATR team will evaluate aspects of the 737 Max automated flight control system, including its design and pilots’ interaction with the system, to determine its compliance with all applicable regulations and to identify future enhancement that might be needed.”

The JATR is chaired by former NTSB chairman Christopher Hart, who cited the need for a, “uniform response” to the Max investigation, adding that there is a “growing need for globalization…because these airplanes are all over the place.” Forming such an international panel is an unusual move, as such investigations had previously been conducted under the primary authority of the FAA. The JATR is scheduled to meet for the first time later this month and its work is expected to take about 90 days, according to Hart.

An official in the regulator's media relations department of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) told Reuters the agency will send experts to contribute to the JATR probe.