EUROPEAN aviation safety authorities say that the first flight tests for the Boeing 737 Max, have now been completed. The tests come after the Boeing 737 Max has been grounded worldwide after two deadly accidents resulting from design problems with the jet.

The test flights carried out over the past week by the European Aviation Safety Agency took place in Vancouver, Canada, due to travel restrictions due to the coronavirus and are now over, the agency said.

“As a next step in evaluating the aircraft to return to service, EASA is now analyzing data and other information collected during the flight,” the agency said.

The data will then be submitted to EASA’s joint operations evaluation board, which is scheduled to begin its assessment next week in London.

EASA stressed it was working with the US Federal Aviation Administration, which started its own recertification test flight in June, and Boeing to return the Boeing 737 Max aircraft to service as quickly as possible, but only after it was certain it was safe.

There were nearly 400 planes in service when the planes were grounded following the 2018 crash in Indonesia and the 2019 crash in Ethiopia. Investigators discovered the role of flight control software called MCAS pushing the plane’s nose down based on faulty sensor readings.

Last month, the FAA outlined a list of design changes needed before it would lift its aircraft ban policy. Boeing’s attempt to fly the 737 Max turned out to be a “much more ambitious project” than expected.

FAA administrator Stephen Dickson said in June that the 737 Max’s entire flight control system was not just software that had been monitored. The overhaul was complicated by the need for the change to work with respect to aircraft redundancy and with other interdependent systems. [sources/photo special]