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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!