How Long Will the Boeing 737 MAX Stay Grounded?

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Aviation regulators around the globe grounded the Boeing (NYSE: BA) 737 MAX in March, after the latest version of Boeing's workhorse jet suffered its second fatal crash in the span of five months. Boeing had already been developing updated pilot training procedures and changes to the software that controls its 737 MAX jets, and now it is racing to finalize those proposed fixes.

A few days ago, Boeing operated a test flight using the updated software, and the results were promising. That said, the FAA and other regulators around the world aren't going to let the Boeing 737 MAX return to the skies until they are certain that the airplane is safe to fly. Industry Focus: Energy host Nick Sciple and Motley Fool contributor Adam Levine-Weinberg discuss what that means for Boeing and its customers and when the 737 MAX might be cleared for takeoff again.

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A full transcript follows the video.

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This video was recorded on April 4, 2019.

Nick Sciple: Boeing had introduced after the first crash some procedures that pilots should follow if you had an issue with this anti-stall device. What we're seeing from the early reports out of the investigation of this Ethiopian Airlines crash is that those pilots actually had followed those procedures. So that, again, is additionally concerning. Boeing needs to go revisit how to handle the software. Do we have any idea, or is it just developing, how long this uncertainty around the MAX may play out? Or is it just wait-and-see at this point?

Adam Levine-Weinberg: Boeing actually did a test flight just this week, with the new software changes that it's proposed. It's definitely going to a somewhat slow process. Boeing still needs to verify all the data, make sure that the fixes that it's planning are going to work. Once it's done that, then it gets handed off to the FAA and to other aviation safety regulating organizations around the world. Given the scrutiny that both Boeing and the aviation safety community is under right now, I think it's fair to expect at least a month, maybe two months of testing. And then, if all goes well, at that point, you could see the FAA and other countries start to lift the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX.

Sciple: Sure. So, obviously, with the grounding of the MAX looking to be prolonging at least for the coming weeks, maybe a couple of months, airlines that operate this aircraft are going to be in a state of flux moving forward.

Adam Levine-Weinberg has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Nick Sciple has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.