Breaking: Boeing 737 MAX US Operations Banned By Trump

As of March 13, 2019, the Boeing 737 MAX has been grounded in the United States. United States President Donald Trump announced the order soon after Canada announced they were grounding the 737 MAX. This makes the United States the last major country to ground the 737 MAX after the horrific crash in Ethiopia.

Boeing’s narrowbody darling will not be flying above North America anymore. Photo: Boeing

American Airlines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines are major operators of the 737 MAX. Although the 737 MAX comprises a small number of their aircraft, it is reasonable to expect some operational challenges. In the days ahead, it is likely that the aviation world will focus on the simultaneous investigations of the Lion Air crash and the subsequent Ethiopian Airlines crash.

The crashes

At the time of this writing, there is no definitive information of the cause of both crashes. Two brand new jets crashing within months of each other is highly abnormal. We still don’t know if there is something wrong with the 737 MAX. It does seem like there could be information hiding within the aircraft itself.

United will not be able to fly 737 MAX 9s. Photo: Boeing

All sorts of new information has been released which has led to mas speculation regarding the reasons for the crashes. Canada’s Transport Minister, Marc Garneau, stated that new satellite tracing data caused some concern for him. According to this data, there was similar activity between the Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX and the Lion Air 737 MAX. Both showed fluctuations in both altitude and vertical speed.

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Just minutes after takeoff, both aircraft came crashing to the ground after pilots indicated they were having difficulty controlling the aircraft. While takeoff and landing are the most dangerous parts of a flight, it seems like there are too many similarities between the two accidents to call it a coincidence.

The distinct 737 MAX winglet will not be flying for some time. Photo: Boeing

737 MAX groundings

It is unclear how long the 737 MAX will be grounded. Air crash investigations can take as long as years. Hopefully, the grounding of these aircraft will give Boeing, the FAA, EASA, and all other relevant organizations time to analyze data and determine if there really is a fault with the aircraft.

It is important to realize what has happened since the horrific crash of ET302. China led the way with grounding the 737 MAX- deeming it a safety hazard– and soon many other countries and airlines followed. Although no one could specifically indicate what the problem was, they knew that there was no way to definitively rule out inherent flaws with the Boeing 737 MAX.

Passenger safety is the highest priority. Every airline and government that grounded these aircraft have taken a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach.

Southwest Airlines received the 10,000th 737- a MAX 8. Now, the aircraft will not be flying until further notice. Photo: Boeing

American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Boeing, and the FAA will have a lot of work to do to repair their reputations. But for now, we can be thankful that the risk of another 737 MAX crash has been minimized.

In the coming days, we expect to see more instances of airlines seeking compensation and clarification from Boeing regarding their 737 MAX. We’ll keep you updated with more information about the 737 MAX here at Simple Flying as it emerges.

Have you been impacted by the grounding of the 737 MAX? Do you believe grounding the 737 MAX is the right decision? Let us know in the comments!

4 comments
  1. This is not the right decision as the mcas system which caused both crashes can easily be disabled by flipping 2 switches as long as all pilots know how to disable the system Boeing max should continue to fly all pilots that fly the max should simply be able to turn off the system what should have happened is all pilots should be made aware how to turn off the system if there is an issue to turn off mcas you let go of yoke and flip 2 switches its that simple

  2. This has been done before Jay the author of this article Jay reported that when he flew on a Boeing max the plane leveled off and then dove a couple hundred feet which surely was mcas then the plane continued to climb case in point the pilots on that flight obviously knew how to disable mcas and turned it off fast pilots complained about this inand in both cases the pilots turned off the auto pilot and flew the olane manually mcas is easy to turn off pilots simply need to be trained to turn off mcas at a moments notice

    1. The auto-pilot isn’t suppose to dive because of wrong indications anyway.

      The modifications of the B737 NG to the B737 MAX include the modification of the nacelle, which causes an upward pitching moment.
      The modified flight characteristics caused the risk of having an angle of attack too important when flying manually, with the later risk of stalling.
      Therefore Boeing implemented this MCAS system, which acts when the angle of attack is too important by bringing the nose down.
      So basically, Boeing added an “Airbus” approach somehow. Boeing limits the flight envelop of the B737 MAX, and the computer takes decisions to correct the pilot. The idea isn’t bad at all…
      But the problems are:
      – pilots didn’t know that this system existed before the 1st crash
      – it seems that the angle of attack sensors have a problem as there are already few B737 that went diving during the take off phase (gaining altitude, with a certain angle of attack).
      – and the worst problem is that this system is based on only 2 sensors. 2 sensors means that the aircraft has a high likelihood of making a mistake when one of the sensor isn’t working properly. The redundancy basic concept of aeronautics isn’t fulfilled at all, at least a third sensor is needed…
      ,,,
      Simply turning off the MCAS isn’t a solution. You never know when the system will activate. Imagine during the descend, at 100 or 200 feet, the airplane starting to dive on its own?
      Or shortly after take-off (10 seconds)?
      Yes, in the future the pilots will have to know how to disable the MCAS when needed. But before, Boeing needs to improve the MCAS in order to stop making wrong decisions !
      ….
      The question that I have in mind for the people thinking that this system flaw isn’t that bad is… How would you feel about a Russian or/and Chinese aircraft having this flaw and crashing?

      In aviation, most of the crashes are due to human mistakes! When the Lion Air crash occurred, this system was pointed to be at the origin of it, and the absence of knowledge about the system.
      Here we can talk about Boeing’s responsibility if this is confirmed. But the last crash due to a manufacturer (Bombardier / Airbus / Boeing) is quite a while back…
      None of the 4 last designed Airbus aircrafts crashed (A380, A350, A320 NEO, A330 NEO), and none of the last Boeing designed (B787 and B747-8I).
      The B777 had an engine design flaw noticed when in 2008 a British Airways aircraft crashed at the landing (before the runway). The accident was attributed to ice crystals suspended in the aircraft’s fuel clogging the fuel-oil heat exchanger. The aircraft lost thrust.
      RR had to make modifications to their engine to avoid a repetition of what happened.
      Anytime the designer has part of the responsibility of a crash, they need to address what caused it !

  3. I’m sorry but as a passenger I don’t like Mendy’s thinking. So the pilot can announce “hey folks, this is your Captain speaking, as you know this airplane might just decide to point its nose at the ground and accelerate, but don’t worry, I know how to flip the switch to stop that, and if it happens we’ll only be tail up for a little while. Enjoy your flight!” Huh? No thanks…..

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