A Boeing 737 MAX Makes An Emergency Landing In The United States

If the public confidence in the Boeing 737 MAX was not already at an all-time low, then the emergency landing certainly will drag it down even lower.

Authorities have grounded every single Boeing 737 MAX, but airlines can operate them to ferry them to bases or storage spaces. Which means that no passengers can be onboard the aircraft when it is flying.

So, Southwest Airlines (LUV) decided to ferry one of their 737 MAX jets out of Orlando and transfer it to Victorville, California. The aircraft was a Boeing 737 MAX registered N8712L.

Unfortunately, just after taking off the pilots experienced issues with one of the LEAP engines and declared an emergency. Reportedly, everything turned out okay – the crew landed safely in Orlando Airport without any injuries.

Southwest Boeing 737s At Orlando International Airport Southwest Boeing 737s At Orlando International Airport

Is the emergency related to the crashes?

In short, no.

To provide a bit longer answer, the main suspect of the two deadly Boeing 737 MAX crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia is the MCAS. The system, which was supposed to increase the safety of the jet and prevent stalls from happening, has caught the attention of everyone. Preliminary reports indicate that MCAS related issues downed the two jets.

Subsequently, aviation safety authorities grounded every single MAX. Airlines could not operate them commercially, but they could move their fleet to save money.

And as previously mentioned, the Southwest Boeing 737 MAX encountered an issue with one of its engines, rather than the MCAS.

But there might be another issue. And it’s related to the fact that we’re again seeing the words emergency, Boeing and MAX in the same sentence.

Let me explain why.

Public Confidence

While engine issues are nothing out of the norm in aviation and aircraft can land safely with a single engine, a bigger problem lies behind the headline of a Boeing 737 MAX going through an emergency.

After more and more shocking facts have emerged about the manufacturing, safety and certification issues about the MAX, the general public question themselves before going on the 737.

Sure, Boeing will fix the MAX. The Seattle based company is already testing new software changes which will reduce the chance of triggering MCAS. Boeing also invited pilots from the three major American carriers, namely Southwest, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) and United Airlines.

As multiple sources indicate, Boeing has fixed one of the main issues of the MCAS, which was that the system relied on only one Angle of Attack sensor. That is definitely positive progress to get the 737 MAX flying again.

Grounded 737s Grounded 737s

However, there might be a problem which no airline or Boeing can fix.

Public confidence and reputation.

Throughout history, safety concerns grounded some of the most well-known aircraft for a brief period of time. The Boeing 787, Concorde, the DC-10 and the de Havilland Comet sat on the ground during their peak years.

While all of them eventually returned to the air, the groundings led to the eventual downfall of 2 of them. Namely, the Concorde and the Comet. Additionally, McDonell Douglas encountered a lot of issues selling the DC-10 after it‘s grounding, but airlines would operate the “exploding cargo doors” tri-jet for a lot of years successfully.