Saturday , September 18 2021

American is canceled on 737 Max flights



DALLAS – American Airlines is taking out its long-established Boeing 737 Max jets, storing update control software for flight control and flying the aircraft to prepare for the first flights with paying passengers later this month.

The airline invited press reporters and photographers on board one of the planes last week to show their confidence in the safety of the flight.

All Max jets around the world were grounded in March 2019 after the second of two accidents that together killed 346 people. Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration approved changes – primarily in air traffic control software – that allow airlines to resume flights.

Americans flew journalists from Dallas to the airline’s maintenance center in Tulsa, where the crews explained how they take out the aircraft and make FAA-necessary changes.

America is likely to be the first carrier to put passengers on Max jets, starting December 29 with one-day round trips between New York and Miami. Meanwhile, the airline is planning flights with employees on board.

Some relatives of people who died in the crashes – and who still believe the plane is unsafe – expressed anger at both Boeing and American over what they called an advertising stunt.

Zipporah Kuria, a British citizen whose father died in the second Max accident, said that Boeing and the FAA should instead turn over documents about changes made to fix the plane and how they were tested. The company has withheld the documents and says that they cover trade secrets.

“I feel that Boeing is using the press to harness public confidence instead of really winning public confidence,” she said. “I’m really disgusted by it all and the fact that American Airlines would pay for it. Their focus is more on profit and business interests than on consumer safety.”

Some people who lost family members believe that the FAA made a mistake by not accepting all the recommendations from pilots and flight professionals during a public comment period about its proposal to let the plane fly again.

The review of the plane has focused on an air traffic control system called MCAS, which repeatedly pressed its nose down on the plane before both crashed. Boeing, which describes changes to the plane on its website, and the FAA say the system has been made less powerful and easier for pilots to override.

However, some of the family members wanted a deeper examination of the plane. And they do not trust Boeing or the FAA, which allowed the plane to continue flying after the first crash, in Indonesia 2018.

“It has not been evaluated to the point where we can say it is safe,” said Nadia Milleron, whose daughter was killed in the second crash, which occurred in Ethiopia. “This plane has not flown that much with this new software, the renewed MCAS, which borders the plane. It is not your responsibility for them to put you on this flight.”

Chicago-based Boeing said it has flown more than 1,400 test flights on updated Max aircraft. The FAA said its people spend 60,000 hours reviewing and testing Boeing’s work.

American is probably the only American operator that uses Max for several weeks. United Airlines expects to put the plane back on schedule in the first quarter of next year, with Southwest following in the second quarter. Regulators in Europe and Brazil have cleared a path for their airlines to resume Max flights within a few weeks.

It is unclear whether the flying public will accept the plane or avoid it. Some industry insiders believe that the fear of entering the plane has diminished over time. American says that if customers do not want to fly on a Max, it will have the flexibility to put them on other planes.

Journalists and American Airlines employees board a Boeing 737 Max at American Airlines Tulsa maintenance facility on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 in Tulsa, Okla.  Earlier, the plane had flown a group of journalists and American Airlines employees from Dallas to American Airlines Tulsa maintenance facility.  (Mike Simons / Tulsa World via AP)

Journalists and American Airlines employees board a Boeing 737 Max at American Airlines Tulsa maintenance facility on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 in Tulsa, Okla. Earlier, the plane had flown a group of journalists and American Airlines employees from Dallas to American Airlines Tulsa maintenance facility. (Mike Simons / Tulsa World via AP)

FILE - In this September 30, 2020 file image, a Boeing 737 Max jet, piloted by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief Steve Dickson, is preparing to land at Boeing Field after a test flight in Seattle.  American Airlines took media members on a Boeing 737 Max on Wednesday, December 2, as they try to convince travelers that the plane is safe.  All Boeing Max jets worldwide were grounded in March 2019 after the second of two accidents that together killed 346 people.  America's first Max flight with regular passengers is scheduled for December 29.  (AP Photo / Elaine Thompson, File)

FILE – In this September 30, 2020 file photo, a Boeing 737 Max jet, piloted by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief Steve Dickson, is preparing to land on Boeing Field after a test flight in Seattle. American Airlines took media members on a Boeing 737 Max on Wednesday, December 2, as they try to convince travelers that the plane is safe. All Boeing Max jets worldwide were grounded in March 2019 after the second of two accidents that together killed 346 people. America’s first Max flight with regular passengers is scheduled for December 29. (AP Photo / Elaine Thompson, File)

American Airlines employees pose for a photo in front of a Boeing 737 Max jet before taking off with media members from Dallas Fort Worth Airport in Grapevine, Texas, on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. American Airlines took its long-running Boeing 737 Max out of storage, updating key flight control software and flying the aircraft in preparation for the first flights with paying passengers later this month.  (AP Photo / LM Otero)

American Airlines employees pose for a photo in front of a Boeing 737 Max jet before taking off with media members from Dallas Fort Worth Airport in Grapevine, Texas, on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. American Airlines took its long-running Boeing 737 Max out of storage, updating key flight control software and flying the aircraft in preparation for the first flights with paying passengers later this month. (AP Photo / LM Otero)

American Airlines Boeing 737 Max takes off at Tulsa International Airport to fly to Dallas, Wednesday, December 2, 2020 in Tulsa, Okla .. Earlier, the plane had flown a group of journalists and American Airlines employees from Dallas to American Airlines Tulsa maintenance facility.  (Mike Simons / Tulsa World via AP)

American Airlines Boeing 737 Max takes off at Tulsa International Airport to fly to Dallas, Wednesday, December 2, 2020 in Tulsa, Okla. Earlier, the plane had flown a group of journalists and American Airlines employees from Dallas to American Airlines Tulsa maintenance facility. (Mike Simons / Tulsa World via AP)

American Airlines Boeing 737 Max takes off at Tulsa International Airport to fly to Dallas, Wednesday, December 2, 2020 in Tulsa, Okla.  Earlier, the plane had flown a group of journalists and American Airlines employees from Dallas to American Airlines Tulsa maintenance facility.  (Mike Simons / Tulsa World via AP)

American Airlines Boeing 737 Max takes off at Tulsa International Airport to fly to Dallas, Wednesday, December 2, 2020 in Tulsa, Okla. Earlier, the plane had flown a group of journalists and American Airlines employees from Dallas to American Airlines Tulsa maintenance facility. (Mike Simons / Tulsa World via AP)

Pilots Peter Gamble, left, and John Konstanzer talk to reporters and crew members after flying a Boeing 737 Max from Dallas and arriving at American Airlines Tulsa maintenance facility on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 in Tulsa, Okla. Earlier, the plane had flown a group of journalists and American Airlines employees from Dallas to American Airlines Tulsa maintenance facility.  (Mike Simons / Tulsa World via AP)

Pilots Peter Gamble, left, and John Konstanzer talk to reporters and crew members after flying a Boeing 737 Max from Dallas and arriving at American Airlines Tulsa maintenance facility on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 in Tulsa, Okla. Earlier, the plane had flown a group of journalists and American Airlines employees from Dallas to American Airlines Tulsa maintenance facility. (Mike Simons / Tulsa World via AP)

An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max jet is ready to fly from Dallas Fort Worth Airport in Grapevine, Texas, on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. American Airlines took its long-ground Boeing 737 Max jets out of storage and updated key flight control software and to fly the aircraft ahead of the first paying passenger flights later this month.  (AP Photo / LM Otero)

An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max jet is ready to fly from Dallas Fort Worth Airport in Grapevine, Texas, on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. American Airlines took its long-established Boeing 737 Max jets out of storage and updated key flight control software and to fly the aircraft before the first paying passengers flights later this month. (AP Photo / LM Otero)

Erik Olund, American head of basic maintenance, speaks after a Boeing 737 Max arrived at American Airlines Tulsa maintenance facility on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 in Tulsa, Okla.  (Mike Simons / Tulsa World via AP)

Erik Olund, American head of basic maintenance, speaks after a Boeing 737 Max arrived at American Airlines Tulsa maintenance facility on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 in Tulsa, Okla. (Mike Simons / Tulsa World via AP)

CORRECTING THE FIRST NAME OF PETE, NOT PET - American Airlines pilot Captain Pete Gamble, left and foreman John Konstanzer speaks in the cockpit of a Boeing 737 Max jet before taking off from Dallas Fort Worth Airport in Grapevine, Texas, Wednesday, December 2, 2020. American Airlines took its long-ground Boeing 737 Max jets out of storage, updated key flight control software and flew the aircraft in preparation for the first pay-per-flight flights later this month.  (AP Photo / LM Otero)

CORRECTING THE FIRST NAME OF PETE, NOT PET – American Airlines pilot Captain Pete Gamble, left and foreman John Konstanzer speaks in the cockpit of a Boeing 737 Max jet before taking off from Dallas Fort Worth Airport in Grapevine, Texas, Wednesday, December 2, 2020 American Airlines took its long-ground Boeing 737 Max jets out of storage, updated key flight control software and flew the aircraft in preparation for the first paying passengers flights later this month. (AP Photo / LM Otero)


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