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

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

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Old Jun 17, 19, 6:57 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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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 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 19 August 2019.

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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.

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

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2019/03/1...ilot-says.html

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.

Currently, AA has removed the 737 MAX 8 aircraft from scheduling through 19 August 2019. The FAA must clear the MAX before it can fly again. AA has 24 MAX 8s grounded and has canceled 115 daily flights as a result. 30 April 2019

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Old Mar 12, 19, 8:17 am
  #211  
 
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Well, it looks like UK has banned the 737 MAX, and Norwegian has grounded its fleet of 737 MAX. I am somewhat surprised by Norweigien’s decision since of all airlines it probably is in the least financially viable position to ground its MAX fleet. But good for it for playing it safe.

So by my count, the major operators of the 78M that are still flying theirs are pretty much North American airlines, with the exception of flyDubai.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 8:18 am
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With the UK grounding the MAX and Senator Romney calling for the FAA to do the same, it seems likely that the MAX will be grounded by the weekend. Could make a fix happen quicker as Boeing and the airlines will be incentived to get the issue addressed ASAP.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 8:23 am
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Lots up there:

https://flightaware.com/live/aircrafttype/B38M

(although I don't think it's accurate in the some cases of places where they've been grounded already?)
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Old Mar 12, 19, 8:25 am
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
Could make a fix happen quicker as Boeing and the airlines will be incentived to get the issue addressed ASAP.
Just what we need - a quick and dirty patch-on-a-patch. Surely that will resolve the problem...
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Old Mar 12, 19, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
With the UK grounding the MAX and Senator Romney calling for the FAA to do the same, it seems likely that the MAX will be grounded by the weekend. Could make a fix happen quicker as Boeing and the airlines will be incentived to get the issue addressed ASAP.
What if the problem is cocky pilots who don't read their training manuals or watch the evening news? By now, pretty much the whole world knows how to turn off the MACS system as a result of all the Lion Air coverage.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 8:31 am
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Originally Posted by thetaxman View Post
AA has around 24 MAX aircraft in the fleet from memory (but a larger number on order) - could they effectively remove this number of aircraft in one go from the current schedule with minimal disruption?
...ish. It would be a lot easier if those 14 738 Oasis conversions didn't have to get pulled last week. The big issue is Spring Break is coming up at the end of March through Easter (April 21).

For a longer-term shutdown, it wouldn't be too much of an issue, but no matter what AA expects the FAA to do, I guarantee every AA aircraft due to be retired this year or was recently retired is being looked at to determine the feasibility of keeping it longer (extending leases where possible, potentially going through a major maintenance check, etc.). If this grounding lasts more than a couple months, it wouldn't surprise me to see the remaining M80s and LUS 752s stay into 2020, as AA expects to have an additional 16 MAX aircraft in their fleet by year end.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 8:31 am
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So from what I understand from AA's naming conventions is the 738 is the 737-800 correct? I have 3 flights coming up in June that have that aircraft. I hope its that aircraft, way too nervous to fly on a MAX right now.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by lobo411 View Post
What if the problem is cocky pilots who don't read their training manuals or watch the evening news? By now, pretty much the whole world knows how to turn off the MACS system as a result of all the Lion Air coverage.
Speaking as someone with zero knowledge of aviation technology, if the MACS system is indeed a known problem, why rely on the pilots to turn it off? Why can't Boeing work with the airlines to actually fix it or disable it?
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Old Mar 12, 19, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by Dadaluma83 View Post
So from what I understand from AA's naming conventions is the 738 is the 737-800 correct? I have 3 flights coming up in June that have that aircraft. I hope its that aircraft, way too nervous to fly on a MAX right now.
Correct.

On your flight details:
738 = 737-800 (NON MAX)
7M8 = 737 MAX 8

You should be good.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by lobo411 View Post
What if the problem is cocky pilots who don't read their training manuals or watch the evening news? By now, pretty much the whole world knows how to turn off the MACS system as a result of all the Lion Air coverage.
MCAS was not adequately covered in the FCOM because Boeing (and regulators) witheld the information. Now, what was that about cocky pilots not reading their training manuals?
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Old Mar 12, 19, 8:44 am
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
Speaking as someone with zero knowledge of aviation technology, if the MACS system is indeed a known problem, why rely on the pilots to turn it off? Why can't Boeing work with the airlines to actually fix it or disable it?
Speaking as someone with zero knowledge myself, I'd say that it's because the MACS system is both useful and necessary to safely operate the aircraft. There are lots of systems in any piece of technology that can be dangerous if used improperly. For example: in the Olden Days, you used to have to pump the brakes in an emergency situation to keep them from locking up. ABS became standard 30-40 years ago, so nobody pumps their brakes now because doing so actually makes things worse. But for the first 20 years after ABS, old people would still pump based on experience.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by SouthernCross View Post
MCAS was not adequately covered in the FCOM because Boeing (and regulators) witheld the information. Now, what was that about cocky pilots not reading their training manuals?
Does that apply to the Ethiopian Air crash too? There have been news stories and even photographs of the switch that needs to be thrown on every news outlet for the last 4 months. How could a pilot whose business is to fly the 737 MAX in the weeks and months since the Lion Air crash have ignored those stories?
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Old Mar 12, 19, 8:48 am
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Just a reminder...when this MAX8 hoopla ends, the crappy bathrooms and seat pitch will be the same. And folks will say: “30-inch seat pitch, but were not gonna crash? Great!”

Last edited by SouthernCross; Mar 12, 19 at 12:04 pm
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Old Mar 12, 19, 8:51 am
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Originally Posted by lobo411 View Post
Does that apply to the Ethiopian Air crash too? There have been news stories and even photographs of the switch that needs to be thrown on every news outlet for the last 4 months. How could a pilot whose business is to fly the 737 MAX in the weeks and months since the Lion Air crash have ignored those stories?
I think advocating pilots get their technical training from the news media creates a host of other issues.
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Old Mar 12, 19, 8:57 am
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On a more practical non-technical data point, if you are polite enough and insistent enough with the AA call center, they will waive the change fee for any MAX flights (may require escalation).

Last edited by btravel112; Mar 12, 19 at 9:52 am Reason: clarification
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