US regulators have uncovered a new possible flaw in Boeing’s beleaguered 737 MAX aeroplane.

US regulators have uncovered a new possible flaw in Boeing’s beleaguered 737 MAX aeroplane.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) did not provide details on what the issue was but said it was one which Boeing must mitigate.

The 737 Max jet has been grounded since March following two fatal crashes that have been linked to a concern about  Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) software on the plane.

A statement on the latest issue said: “The Federal Aviation Administration is following through a process, not a prescribed timeline, for returning the Boeing 737 MAX to service. The FAA will lift the aircraft’s prohibition order when we deem it fit to do so.

“The FAA’s process is designed to discover and highlight potential risks.”

Software changes

A statement from Boeing said: “ The safety of our airplanes is Boeing’s highest priority. During the FAA’s review of the 737 MAX software update and recent simulator sessions, the FAA identified an additional requirement that it has asked the company to address through the software changes that the company has been developing for the past eight months.

“The FAA review and process for returning the 737 MAX to passenger service are designed to result in a thorough and comprehensive assessment. Boeing agrees with the FAA’s decision and request, and is working on the required software.”

The statement added: “Addressing this condition will reduce pilot workload by accounting for a potential source of uncommanded stabiliser motion. Boeing will not offer the 737 MAX for certification by the FAA until we have satisfied all requirements for certification of the MAX and its safe return to service.”

Parts issue

Earlier this month, the FAA highlighted issues with some parts for Boeing’s 737 MAX jets and an older model, the 737NG. A notice from the FAA said that leading edge slat tracks may have been improperly manufactured and may not meet all applicable regulatory requirements for strength and durability.

Boeing is staging replacement parts at customer bases. Boeing also issued a safety service bulletin outlining the steps to take during the inspections.

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