FAA Officially Lifts Grounding Of Boeing 737 MAX

A major milestone was reached today as the FAA officially announced the 737 Max is now “ungrounded”…

737 MAX BACKGROUND

The 737 Max has been grounded since March 2019 after two fatal crashes that killed nearly 350 people.

The first 737 Max crash occurred in October 2018 in Indonesia, and the second was less than five months later in Ethiopia.

For what it is worth, the cause of the two fatal crashes was determined to be a safety feature designed to push the nose of the plane down if it was climbing at a steep angle and was in danger of stalling. However, in both aforementioned crashes, the computer system provided false calculations, pushed both planes into nose-dives, and the pilots were unable to regain control.

Here is a glimpse into the planes capability from the 2018 Farnborough Airshow…

Boeing has since redesigned the software and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reviewed those changes and conducted test flights.

In fact, the head administrator of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Steve Dickson says he has flown the plane himself, is “100% comfortable with his family flying on it” and today signed the ungrounding order for the Boeing 737 MAX.

Here’s the message from Dickson:

SO WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP?

As I mentioned nearly a month ago, American Airlines is expected to be the first US airline to put the 737 MAX back into service as the carrier has added once daily flights between Miami (MIA) and New York (LGA) between 29 December 2020 and 4 January 2021 with the following schedule:

Flight #OriginDestinationDeparture TimeArrival Time
AA718MiamiNew York10:32AM1:30PM
AA718New YorkMiami2:30PM5:44PM

American stated they would “make customers aware they are flying on a 737 Max.”

Though, interestingly, I selected the 737 Max flight specifically and completed the entire booking process and and was never ‘alerted’ that I would be flying on the plane, so I have no idea when the carrier contacts passengers (or connecting passengers) scheduled on this flight.

FINAL STAMP

The 737 Max has officially been ungrounded and I’m extremely interested to see how this plays out, both, for American Airlines and for the 737 Max.

Many studies have shown air travel is extremely safe – more so than driving – and although I’ve been wrong before with predicting how passengers respond to travel changes, we’ll have to see how passengers acknowledge the experience once they discover or are told they are flying on the 737 Max.

It’s worth noting that Boeing rebranded the 737 Max and didn’t tell anyone too. Remember that?

What do you think about this development? Would you fly on the first 737 flight?

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Cover Photo: Boeing

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