Boeing has suspended testing on its 777x aircraft after its team encountered an issue during final load testing, when a door reportedly blew off. The setback comes in the wake of its deadly 737 MAX crashes controversy.
“During final load testing on the 777X static test airplane, the team encountered an issue that required suspension of the test,” a Boeing spokesman said.
Final load tests subject aircrafts to “loads and stresses well beyond normal operational loads,” and are overseen by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors as part of the aircraft certification process.
A source close to the matter said that a door blew open during testing.
“The event is under review and the team is working to understand root cause,” Boeing said.
The long-range 777X was originally scheduled to take its first test flight this summer, but it was postponed until 2020 due to issues with its General Electric engine. It isn’t clear if the latest suspended testing will cause further delays.
The setback is the latest blow to the aircraft manufacturer after its 737 MAX was grounded globally in March following two crashes which killed 346 people. Investigations found that the software and sensors contributed to the pilots not being able to control the planes. This week, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) told the FAA it would have to run its own tests before approving the 737 MAX for flying again.
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