28 March, 2019
Southwest said the pilots "reported a performance issue with one of the engines shortly after takeoff" while it was en route for storage until the FAA order grounding the planes from passenger travel is lifted.
Boeing, meanwhile, has failed to elaborate why such flaws were originally present in a system shipped to passenger planes as well as why it used only one sensor, while two were installed. Both aircraft struggled to maintain speed and altitude immediately after takeoff, a problem that is being blamed on a fault with the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).
On the other end of Capitol Hill, the chairman of the House Transportation Committee is seeking an independent review of Boeing's proposed fix to its 737 Max aircraft, which has been grounded worldwide for two weeks.
In a briefing with reporters on Wednesday, Boeing said the highly anticipated changes would most importantly prompt the aircraft to utilize two sensors instead of just one to engage the MCAS, or Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, created to compensate for larger engines placed further forward on the wings of the MAX model, a new generation of the Boeing 737.
Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the accidents.
"All those involved have had to deal with unimaginable pain", Muilenburg said.
The Boeing 737 Max is the fastest-selling aircraft in the company's history with roughly 370 delivered so far and some 4,700 more on order.
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"To date, the FAA has tested this enhancement to the 737 MAX flight control system in both the simulator and the aircraft".
Boeing and FAA test pilots are also allowed to make flights to demonstrate the software fixes being developed for the planes.
But an investigation of the Lion Air flight previous year suggested the system malfunctioned, and forced the plane's nose down more than 20 times before it crashed into the sea killing all 189 passengers and crew.
"So Boeing says they're going to have this software patch by next week and all the pilots trained by May", Schiavo said.
"The FAA is responsible for determining that the applicant has shown that the overall design meets the safety standards", he wrote. Since the Ethiopian Airlines crash, Boeing has stopped delivery of all new MAX jets and its shares have lost about 12 percent and $29 billion in market value.
"The crew of Southwest Airlines Flight 8701, a Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, declared an emergency after the aircraft experienced a reported engine problem while departing from Orlando International Airport in Florida about 2:50 p.m. today", the statement said.