Analysis-Debate over pulling fuses widens regulatory cracks on 737 MAX

Analysis-Debate over pulling fuses widens regulatory cracks on 737 MAX
Grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are seen parked in an aerial photo at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, U.S. July 1, 2019.REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

(Reuters) – Boeing’s 737 MAX is set to return to the skies in Canada with a local twist in the cockpit, after Ottawa became the last major Western regulator to lift a 20-month safety ban. Small print in Thursday’s Transport Canada announcement sheds light on a regulatory split over the use of a less common tactic to overcome cockpit distractions, deepening international disunity over the lessons from two fatal crashes.

Transport Canada joined the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and other regulators in requiring more training and revisions to MCAS anti-stall software implicated in the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, which killed 346 people.

But unlike the FAA, Canada will give pilots an option to intervene in an electrical system to silence an alarm thought to have distracted crew as they tried to control the doomed jets.

In an unusual move, pilots in Canada will be allowed to pull a circuit-breaker or electric fuse to silence an erroneously activated “stick shaker,” which vibrates the control column and makes a loud noise when the jet risks losing lift.

Leave a Reply