Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Airlines wrestle with calls, cancellations after Boeing MAX fleet grounded

Wings clipped: No more Boeing 737/8 at Kempegowda International Airport Airlines wrestle with calls, cancellations after Boeing MAX fleet grounded
Steven Clarke | 15 March, 2019, 11:52

The 737 MAX 8 and 9, however, are likely to remain on the ground for weeks until a software upgrade can be tested and installed, the US Federal Aviation Administration.

"The number of Boeing 737-8 Max aircraft passing through the BLR Airport varies from day to day, depending on each airlines' roster and schedule", said an BIAL spokesperson.

The plane was less than four months old when it went down just six minutes into its flight to Nairobi.

Addis Ababa said on Wednesday it was sending the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) to France because the East African country does not have the required facilities to carry out the detailed analysis required to determine the cause of the deadly disaster. He said the decision was based on new evidence that showed the plane that crashed Sunday in Ethiopia behaved similarly to another 737 Max that crashed five months ago in Indonesia, operated by Lion Air. Dozens of countries, including the United States, have made a similar move.

The causes are still unknown, but both involved a relatively new 737 MAX 8 aircraft that crashed within minutes of takeoff and experienced sudden drops in altitude when the aircrafts should have been steadily climbing.

Boeing spokesman Chaz Bickers said: "We continue to build 737 MAX airplanes while assessing how the situation, including potential capacity constraints, will impact our production system".

"As we have not yet heard directly from Boeing, we have no way of making a judgment", a company official said. The US president said safety was of paramount concern.

Oil hits four-month highs with support from tightened supply
International Brent crude oil futures were at $67.61 a barrel at 0054 GMT, up 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their last close. US crude stocks fell last week as refineries hiked output, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.

One said the flight crew reviewed the incident "at length. but can't think of any reason the aircraft would pitch nose-down so aggressively".

It was unclear if USA transport authorities review the database or investigated the incidents. In a March 13 statement, Boeing said it respected the FAA's latest decision.

Both planes were fitted with the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), a newly upgraded system created to push the nose of the plane down should the aircraft get to an altitude that would cause it to suddenly stall.

Speaking in a "panicky voice", the doomed aircraft's captain requested permission to return to the airport nearly immediately after takeoff as the plane "accelerated to abnormal speed", the newspaper reported Thursday, citing a person who had reviewed the air traffic communications.

Boeing was criticised after the Lion Air crash for allegedly failing to adequately inform 737 pilots about the functioning of the stall prevention system.

BEA said any information about the investigation would come from Ethiopian Airlines, which itself tweeted that it would only communicate through social media and its website.

"It is hard to get a system to work seamlessly with human beings", he told AFP.

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