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Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashes and effects on AA 737 MAX 8s (NOT reaccommodation)

Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashes and effects on AA 737 MAX 8s (NOT reaccommodation)

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This thread is dedicated to the effect on AA from the October 29, 2018 and March 10, 2019 crashes if two Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in Indonesia and Ethiopia, respectively.

To discuss the probable and limited return of the Boeing MAX to service with AA at the end of 2020 and increasingly in 2021, please see

American Planning 737 MAX Service Restoration (Limited Dec and 2021)

To discuss reaccommodation by AA subsequent to the grounding of all Boeing MAX 8s and 9s by the US Federal Aviation Administration on 13 March 2019, please refer to 737 MAX grounded 13 Mar 2019. What to do if you were supposed to fly on one?

13 March 2019: All US airline Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft are grounded by US Federal Aviation Administration emergency order. AA has removed all 737 MAX 8 from scheduling through...
“Based on the latest guidance, the airline anticipates that the resumption of scheduled commercial service on American’s fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will occur (limited schedule Dec 2020).

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The thread regarding the 10 March 2019 Ethiopian Airlines ET 302 737 MAX 8 crash out of Adis Ababa is Ethiopian Airlines: Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes on way to Kenya [ET302 ADD-NBO 10MAR19]. Link.

The thread regarding the 29 October 2018 Lion Air JT 610 737 MAX 8 crash out of Jakarta is Lion Air flight from Jakarta has crashed
. Link.

The best narrative and information available is probably the Aviation Herald’s Crash: Lion B38M near Jakarta on Oct 29th 2018, aircraft lost height and crashed into Java Sea, wrong AoA data, by Simon Hradecky, created Friday, Oct 25th 2019 13:35Z, last updated Friday, Oct 25th 2019 16:05Z. Link.

American Airlines ordered 100 Boeing 737 MAX 8 (7M8) with options for 60 more. The first 737 MAX -8 flew at the assembly facility in Renton, WAshington, USA on 29 Jan 2016. Deliveries to AA commenced in late in 2017, with four delivered in 2017,16 more during 2018, with 20 more to be delivered during 2019. IATA code B38M; AA code "7M8".

Link to the story of how 737 MAX’ birth in the DFW Admirals Club and the forces that shaped it.

29 October 2018: Indonesian carrier Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29 crashed into the sea soon after takeoff with the loss of all aboard, apparently due to the erroneous data from a faulty Angle of Attack sensor, which caused the MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) to assume the plane was about to stall, which activated the downward force on the Stabilizer Trim to get the nose down. Link to BBC article.

Link to Aviation Herald discussion.

Link to FlyerTalk airline forum thread regarding this incident.

“Instead of switching off the Stabilizer Trim the pilots appear to have battled the system.” Link

This aircraft had been written up as having a faulty AOA indicator for the previous three flights it had taken. It is unclear if Lion Air had performed adequate maintenance procedures after the reports or withdraw the aircraft from service until the fault could be completely cleared.

7 November 2018: The US Federal Aviation Administration / FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD note) covering the AOA within a few days, giving US airlines 30 days to comply with the AD.

7 November 2018: Boeing issued revised operating instructions covering the revised MCAS used in the MAX 8, updating the MAX operations manual. See the manual update and the switches referenced in this post.

See “What is the Boeing 737 MAX Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System?”, updated November 17 to explain the MCAS and electric trim override operation, here: link.

10 March 10, 2019: An Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 departing Addis Ababa to Nairobi turned back to the airport soon after takeoff, but crashed with the loss of all aboard.

Link to BBC article.

Link to Aviation Herald discussion.

Link to FlyerTalk airline forum thread regarding this incident.

10 March 10, 2019: The US National Transportation Board / NTSB has dispatched an investigation team, as have Boeing, to Addis Ababa to assist the Ethiopian investigators in determining the cause(s) of the crash. The “black boxes” (cockpit voice and the flight data recorder have been recovered.

A revised MCAS is in the works, and the FAA is expected to issue an AD note when the MCAS update is done. This is expected to occur in May, 2019.

11 March 2019: China grounded its 737 MAX 8 (not MAX 9) fleet.

11 March 2019: the US FAA stated it would not ground US (AA, AS, UA, WN) 737 MAX aircraft at this time.

Link to FAA Airworthiness Notification for USA registered B38M aircraft PDF.

Link to Wall Street Journal article.

11 March 2019: AA APFA Flight Attendant union spokesperson asked AA to ground the MAX 8s. (TPG)

11 March 2019: AA pilots through their APA union have requested passengers allow the investigators do their work and refrain from jumping to conclusions. “We caution against speculation about what may have caused this tragic accident,” the Air Line Pilots Association said in a statement. (TPG)

12 March 2019: The nation members of the European Union, the United Kingdom and several other nations ban their airlines’ operation, and other airlines’ overflight or flights, of the B38M aircraft. Link to New York Times article.

12 March 2019: Other USA airlines operating 737 MAX aircraft (of all types) are United (UA), Southwest (WN). AS has ordered the MAX 9, but deliveries have not yet been made.

Link to The Points Guy “how to tell if you’re flying a 737 MAX 8” article

13 March 2019: American Airlines pilots’ union APA issues statement in support of the AA B38M: “The AA APA spokesman says AA's MAX 8s have additional indicators on the planes, which others do not have. He says they're the only ones equipped with TWO AOA displays - one for each pilot. This, I guess, is why AA feels they can keep flying the MAX 8. The spokesman said he felt UA and SW (WN) were getting these added to their MAX planes. “ - Econometrics


13 March 2019: Canada grounds Canadian B38M aircraft. The US is the sole remaining nation to allow operation of the 737 MAX 8. Link to USA Today article.

13 March 2019: US Federal Aviation Administration issues emergency order for immediate grounding all USA airline operated Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft, effectively immediately. Link NYT story.

13 March 2019: American Airlines issues announcement of 7M8 grounding. Link to PDF. According to AA:

On average, American operates 85 flights per day on the MAX 8, out of 6,700 departures throughout the American Airlines system. Our operations center is working to re-route aircraft throughout the system to cover as much of our schedule as we can.
13 March 2019: AA issues policy allowing those scheduled for 7M8 flights through April 4 to refund or change without fees for cancellations, or to make free changes to their flight plans. See the thread linked to at the top of this Wiki for a link.

14 March 2019: It is announced the French BEA will retrieve the data from the Ethiopian Cockpit Voice Recorder and Flight Data Recorder.

Link to Eight things you might not know about black boxes
By Cristen Tilley, ABC Australia

15 March 2019: BBC article states FAA says the MAX will not be cleared for flight at least until May. Link to story.

15 March 2019: On the other hand, CNBC states Boeing will have the anti-stall software update for the MAX ready in ten days, and that the FAA is expected to sign off on the modification on March 25, 2019.

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Old Mar 10, 19, 7:25 pm
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Time to take a step back and wait for the facts.
Excellent advise. I am certain it will fall on deaf ears to the chicken little crowd especially now that the news networks are filling dead air with speculation.
DataPlumber is offline  
Old Mar 10, 19, 7:48 pm
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As a million-mile lifetime flyer on US/AA, I won't be setting foot on any 7M8's. Flying out of CLT, they should be easy to avoid. The causes of the two recent crashes may be coincidences. Or maybe not, no one knows at this point. Why risk it?
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Old Mar 10, 19, 8:19 pm
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The MAX is officially GROUNDED in China:

spongenotbob is offline  
Old Mar 10, 19, 8:30 pm
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"Let's wait for the facts"

"China didn't wait for the facts"

I wonder how many will be singing this same tune if the two 737 MAX planes were from AA/SWA/UA and the fatalities had been all american passengers.

Interesting thought experiment, indeed.
ginmqi is online now  
Old Mar 10, 19, 9:06 pm
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Originally Posted by GunsOfNavarone View Post
"China has asked its domestic airlines to ground all 737 Max."

I am more than confident if the aircraft was Chinese made- there would be no action by China.
But there probably would be action by the U.S. What's your point? That China doesn't trust the U.S. (and, I contend, vice versa)? Thanks for that nugget.
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Old Mar 10, 19, 9:11 pm
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How does one tell if a flight is on the aircraft? Checking the AA app an upcoming flight is on a 737-800. Is this the same as the 737 MAX 8 or different? Does the app say MAX?
WiscAZ is offline  
Old Mar 10, 19, 9:22 pm
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Time to take a step back and wait for the facts.
Sadly, perception is reality these days. We are a relatively small group of aviation "nerds" who follow the industry closely and look at the reaction here. This crash happened on a Sunday in Africa so the average American never saw the news. Just wait until tomorrow when the Fox and Friends/Today Show/Good Morning America do what they do best: If it bleeds, it leads. Sunday morning probably 95+% of average Americans would think you were speaking a different language if you said 737 Max 8. By tomorrow morning everyone will be calling American, Southwest, etc and asking if their next flight is on a Max 8. This has to be FREAK OUT time at Boeing and the airlines who fly the Max 8. The media will ride this story and force the airlines/FAA to make some really hard decisions, and I fear unfortunately many of those decisions will be based on public opinion and not facts.

I will admit that I'm hesitant to fly on a Max 8 right now and I've been OK flying on a B-17 flying fortress held together with duct tape!
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Old Mar 10, 19, 9:30 pm
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Originally Posted by WiscAZ View Post
How does one tell if a flight is on the aircraft? Checking the AA app an upcoming flight is on a 737-800. Is this the same as the 737 MAX 8 or different? Does the app say MAX?

econometrics is offline  
Old Mar 11, 19, 1:58 am
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I am currently in Australia. Extensive TV coverage of the ET crash, including CNN International. Passenger breakdown showed a wide range of nationalities. There were 8 Americans on the flight (no Australians). I agree ET is a great airline. This is Boeing's fault. In both crashes the airplanes failed to gain significant altitude. And both went straight into the ground - like they completely lost lift and fell to the ground.

Last edited by cova; Mar 11, 19 at 2:04 am
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Old Mar 11, 19, 2:43 am
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I am not sure about one question, so I am going to ask here.

Is it the fault of the B7M8 frame (Boeing) or the fault of LEAP (the engine)? As I have heard the fault starts with the LEAP engine is too big for the frame which ended with a lot of extra software to assist the pilot, and those software is the suspected reason for the loss of control of the aircraft.
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Old Mar 11, 19, 4:30 am
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Stupid question but is this the same as the Boeing 737-800 passenger? Have that plane this week.
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Old Mar 11, 19, 4:41 am
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Originally Posted by Dn10 View Post
Stupid question but is this the same as the Boeing 737-800 passenger? Have that plane this week.
No if its a Max it shows a 7M8 (737-800 Max series).
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Old Mar 11, 19, 4:44 am
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No. The engines are different. The ECAS software (auto pitch control on the MAX) is different. 737-800s have been flown safely by dozens of carriers for two decades.
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Old Mar 11, 19, 5:17 am
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Time to take a step back and wait for the facts.
I immensely respect your perspectives and am appreciative of all that you have contributed over the years, but the only fact I need is that two of these ships have fallen from the sky, and the only stepping back that this aerospace engineer will be doing will be stepping back from the doorway of any MAX for the foreseeable future. I don’t care to become a data point confirming what is now currently a hypothesis.
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Old Mar 11, 19, 6:00 am
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Time to take a step back and wait for the facts.
And yet it appears AA has released a statement saying it has “full confidence” in the 737 MAX. Unless AA has facts that none of us are privy to?

The full statement:
We have full confidence in the aircraft and our crew members, who are the best and most experienced in the industry.

American Airlines extends our condolences to the families and friends of those on board Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. At this time there are no facts on the cause of the accident other than news reports,
Need I point out the implication of the part about the crew? Who approved this?
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