An Update on the Grounding of Boeing 737 Max Flights

Boeing 737 Max plane

Going to and from various locations is just part of the job of being a planner and taking flights is a big part of that. From scheduling issues to fewer flights, the grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 planes could cause issues when planning your next meeting.

Background

Back in March, President Trump announced that the U.S. would be grounding Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 planes; now the jets are banned worldwide.

The grounding was a result of two separate Boeing 737 Max flights crashing within months of each other; Lion Air Flight 610 plunged into the Java Sea 12 minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 passengers and crew. Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, crashed only six minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 aboard.

What’s Going On

Both the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airline crashes stemmed from technical problems in the software of the flight control system.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) disclosed another software glitch that came to light as Boeing tested a theoretical flight-control computer failure on June 26, per FAA’s request. This glitch requires an extra patch that will be included in Boeing’s final package of flight-control software to be reviewed by worldwide regulators before the plane is clear for takeoff.

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“Under the latest scenario,” the plane may be grounded until early 2020 say sources of FAA and pilot-union leaders, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Additionally, Boeing will not offer the 737 Max 8 or Max 9 for certification by the FAA until they have met all requirements for certification of the Max and “it’s safe return to service,” the company said in a statement.

Off the Schedule

On Sunday, July 14, American Airlines Group Inc. said the planes would be kept off their schedule though Nov. 2. This is now the fifth time the airline group has adjusted their flight schedule to aid the plane’s ongoing absence.

American Airlines Group Inc. is not the only airline keeping the Boeing 737 Max’s off their schedules. United Airlines Holding Inc. has also removed the plane through early November.

U.S. airlines have said it will take several weeks to prepare the stored plane to continue commercial operations and possibly train pilots once the worldwide grounding is lifted.

There is no timeline as to when the issues will be resolved, as the situation is “fluid.”

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