In March of 2018, Boeing delivered it’s 10,000th 737 aircraft, cementing its place as the most successful and popular passenger aircraft in history. The Airbus A320, the direct competitor of the Boeing 737, lags behind by more than 2,000 deliveries. In the same year, Boeing launched the Boeing 737-MAX, the longest and most advanced version of the 737 to date, to much acclaim. Last week however, the world suffered a tremendous loss, as 189 souls plunged into the seas off of Indonesia aboard a plane less than half a year old. In lieu of initial reports, Boeing has issued an official safety directive for the plane.
Modern aircraft have a variety of systems in place specifically to safeguard passengers, even in situations where a pilot may not be fully aware. One such system uses data based on speed and the angle of attack at which an airplane is flying to make sure stalls are prevented. A stall is when a plane no longer has the speed to continue flying, and begins to “sink” from the sky. When a stall is perceived as a risk via the AOA (angle of attack) sensors, planes automatically push the nose downward in an attempt to gain back airspeed. It’s now believed that a fault in this crucial system may have played a part in pushing the doomed plane towards the ground.
Boeing Statement on Operations Manual Bulletin: https://t.co/5e18xbb4uX
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) November 7, 2018
Warning To Operators
Boeing has sent official “operations manual” notice to airlines operating the Boeing 737 MAX in regards to potentially “erroneous instrument readings”, which may cause the aircraft to dive. The notice includes specific instructions and procedures for pilots to follow, to prevent any significant risk to passengers. The notice is in response to the tragic loss of life aboard Lion Air Flight 904. There are currently over 200 Boeing 737-MAX aircraft flying in the skies of North America, Asia and Europe, with future operators planned for South America, India, Middle East and Pacific.
FAA Air Worthiness Notice
Via Bloomberg, the FAA, the preeminent aviation regulatory body in the United States, is planning to issue an “Air Worthiness” directive, similar to those issued on select Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s with Rolls Royce engine issues. The air notice will mandate that all airlines flying the Boeing 737-MAX must follow Boeing’s newly issued operational guidelines, which is not at all uncommon in day to day airline operations. The swift action in releasing these new mandates is an obvious response to the unspeakable tragedy of October, 29th. The Boeing 737-MAX has continued flying since the doomed Lion Air flight, and with newly issued safety instructions, that won’t be changing anytime soon. Here are all the airlines currently flying it.