During the original design and certification of Boeing’s 737 MAX, company engineers didn’t notice that the electrical wiring doesn’t meet federal aviation regulations for safe wire separation. And the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) failed to detect Boeing’s miss.
The wiring vulnerability creates the theoretical potential for an electrical short to move the jet’s horizontal tail uncommanded by the pilot, which could be catastrophic. If that were to happen, it could lead to a flight control emergency similar to the one that brought down two MAX jets, causing 346 deaths and the grounding of the aircraft.
Because this danger is extremely remote, the FAA faces a dilemma over what to do about it. The issue has complicated the return of the MAX to service after a grounding that is edging close to one year.
Modifying the wiring would be a delicate and expensive task, and Boeing this week submitted a proposal to the FAA, arguing that it shouldn’t be required.
Yet allowing the wiring to remain as is will be difficult at a time when both Boeing and the FAA are under tremendous scrutiny. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Seattle Times website.