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By Andrew Tangel and Andy Pasztor
PARIS -- Boeing Co. Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg on Sunday said the company had made communications lapses with its embattled 737 MAX jet and promised greater transparency after regulators, airlines and pilots faulted the aerospace giant for not being forthcoming with key information.
Mr. Muilenburg's comments come as the Federal Aviation Administration, barring last-minute schedule changes or unexpected hurdles, as early as this week has tentative plans to begin test flights of proposed software fixes to the MAX fleet, according to people familiar with the matter.
The long-anticipated certification tests, these people said, have been planned with the support of European and Canadian regulators. They could take a week or more to complete, according to one person briefed on the anticipated timeline, and would be followed by additional weeks of FAA experts analyzing and formally documenting the test results. Engineering or handling problems uncovered during the tests, these people emphasized, could extend that timeline.
The MAX was grounded more than three months ago after the crashes that killed all 346 people on the jets. Investigators have implicated a flight-control system in the accidents.
Boeing has devised changes to the MAX to fix the system. While Chicago-based aerospace giant is making progress on getting the MAX back in the air, Mr. Muilenburg said the timeline for restoring service with the airliner is still uncertain. "We haven't given airlines a specific timetable," he said, adding that "this will all be governed by safety."
Mr. Muilenburg said he was "disappointed" the company wasn't more forthcoming with information when engineers in 2017 learned that cockpit alerts intended to warn pilots about certain sensor malfunctions didn't work or weren't operating as intended due to a software error. The company previously said senior Boeing leaders didn't learn about the issue until after the Oct. 29, 2018, Lion Air crash.
Write to Andrew Tangel at Andrew.Tangel@wsj.com and Andy Pasztor at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 16, 2019 11:14 ET (15:14 GMT)
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