Southwest Boeing 737 Max makes an emergency touchdown in Orlando
international locations in grounding the planes, following the crash of Ethiopian Airways Flight 302, a Boeing 737 Max 8. All 157 passengers on board had been killed and investigators stated the crash had “clear similarities” with a Lion Air flight in October, operated by the identical kind of aircraft, plunged into the Java Sea in Indonesia, killing the 189 individuals on board.
The FAA stated it’s investigating the Southwest incident on Tuesday and that the problem was not associated to different issues in regards to the 737 Max that led the company to floor the aircraft.
Southwest Flight 8701, the ferry flight, returned to Orlando Worldwide Airport shortly earlier than three p.m. EDT after the pilots “reported a efficiency subject with one of many engines shortly after takeoff,” Southwest stated in a press release. “The crew adopted protocol and safely landed again on the airport.”
A Southwest spokesman stated the aircraft didn’t expertise any points with management, such because the controversial automated anti-stall system Boeing added to the planes earlier than their debut in 2017.
Investigators within the Lion Air crash suspect that pilots had been battling the Maneuvering Traits Augmentation System, or MCAS, which routinely pushes the nostril of the aircraft all the way down to keep away from a stall. That may be catastrophic if the aircraft’s sensor erroneously alerts to the aircraft that it’s in a stall when it isn’t.
Boeing has tweaked the system, which was examined by pilots over the weekend in Renton, Wash., the place the corporate assembles the aircraft. The modifications embody utilizing knowledge from two sensors as an alternative of 1 and limiting the variety of nose-down positions the aircraft will take if the system is engaged.
Pilots acquired a brief pc course earlier than transitioning to the Max from older 737s and stated they didn’t know the MCAS system existed till after the Lion Air crash.
Boeing submitted its certification plan for the software program replace to the FAA in January and performed a take a look at flight with new software program together with the FAA on March 12. That flight confirmed the 737 Max with the brand new software program “nonetheless meets certification necessities,” an organization official stated Tuesday.
— CNBC’s Phil LeBeau contributed to this report.