Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Chief Steve Dickson is set to conduct an evaluation flight at the controls of a Boeing 737 MAX next week, a key milestone as the U.S. planemaker works to win approval to resume flights, the agency told lawmakers, Reuters reported.
Dickson, who was previously a commercial airline pilot, plans to undergo simulator training before the flight and will then share his observations with FAA technical staff.
It is not typical for an FAA administrator to fly an airplane before it returns to service. Dickson has repeatedly said he would not sign off until he flew it himself and was “satisfied that I would put my own family on it without a second thought.”
The FAA told U.S. lawmakers in an email Friday that Dickson and FAA Deputy Administrator Dan Elwell “will be in Seattle next week to take the recommended training.” The flight by Dickson will fulfill “his promise to fly the aircraft before the FAA approves its return to service.”