Indonesian airline Garuda said Friday that it’s canceling a multibillion-dollar order for Boeing’s 737 Max 8 passenger jet after the plane was involved in two deadly crashes in less than five months.
“Our passengers have lost confidence to fly with the Max 8,” Garuda spokesperson Ikhsan Rosan told CNN.
The Indonesian carrier ordered 50 of the planes in 2014 for $4.9 billion. It has taken delivery of one of them but has now sent a letter to Boeing (BA) saying it no longer wants to receive the remaining jets on order, Ikhsan said.
It’s the latest blow to Boeing over the 737 Max, its bestselling passenger jet. The planes have been grounded worldwide over safety concerns following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight earlier this month.
Boeing representatives are planning to visit Jakarta on March 28 to discuss the cancellation request with the airline, Ikhsan said.
A Boeing spokesperson said the company doesn’t comment on “customer discussions.”
Aviation authorities around the world have grounded the 737 Max following the Ethiopia crash. Many airlines have announced they won’t fly the planes until they know more about the circumstances surrounding the crash. The grounding is expected to cost Boeing billions of dollars.
CNN reported earlier this week that US Justice Department prosecutors have issued multiple subpoenas as part of an investigation into Boeing’s certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration and the company’s marketing of 737 Max planes.
The criminal investigation, which is in its early stages, began after a 737 Max aircraft operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air crashed in October, killing all 189 people aboard.
The FAA has said that data and physical evidence show similarities between the Ethiopian Airlines crash, in which 157 people were killed, and the Lion Air disaster. The agency said Wednesday that Boeing has developed a software patch and pilot training program to address issues with the 737 Max identified in the Lion Air crash.
The 737 Max jets are by far the most important product for the company. It has orders for nearly 5,000 of the aircraft, enough to keep production lines operating for years to come.
The captain of a doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight, Yared Getachew, was unable to practice on a new simulator for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 before he died in a crash with 157 others, a pilot colleague said.
Getachew, 29, was due for refresher training at the end of March, his colleague said, two months after Ethiopian Airlines received the simulator.
The March 10 disaster, following another MAX 8 crash in Indonesia in October, has set off one of the biggest inquiries in aviation history. The inquiries focused on whether pilots were sufficiently versed on a new automated system.
In both cases, the pilots lost control soon after take-off and fought a losing battle to stop their jets plunging down. In the Ethiopian crash, it was not clear if Yared’s colleague – First Officer Ahmednur Mohammed, 25, who also died in the crash – had practised on the new MAX simulator.
Globally, most commercial airline pilots refresh training in simulators every six months. It was not clear if Yared or Ahmednur would have been trained on the new simulator or an older one for 737s that their airline also owned.
The MAX, which came into service two years ago, has a new automated system called MCAS (Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System). It is meant to prevent a loss of lift, which can cause an aerodynamic stall, sending the plane downwards in an uncontrolled way. “Boeing did not send manuals on MCAS,’’ the Ethiopian Airlines pilot told Reuters in a hotel lobby, declining to give his name as staff have been told not to speak in public.
“Actually, we know more about the MCAS system from the media than from Boeing.’’ Under unprecedented scrutiny and with its MAX fleet grounded worldwide, the world’s largest planemaker has said airlines were given guidance on how to respond to the activation of MCAS software.
It is also promising a swift update to the system. Ethiopian Airlines declined to comment on the remarks of its pilot to Reuters about the simulator and MCAS system. (Reuters/NAN). Src: vanguardngr and Boeing
The US Federal Aviation Administration grounded the Boeing 737 Max airliner on Wednesday. It was the last and arguably most significant regulatory body to take action against Boeing’s state-of-the-art single-aisle jet.
The enforcement action against the Boeing jet comes after two 737 Max 8 airliners crashed under strikingly similar circumstances in a matter of months.
At the heart of the controversy surrounding the 737 Max is the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). To fit the Max’s larger, more fuel-efficient engines, Boeing had to redesign the way it mounts engines on the 737. This change disrupted the plane’s center of gravity and caused the Max to have a tendency to tip its nose upward during flight, increasing the likelihood of a stall. MCAS is designed to automatically counteract that tendency and point the nose of the plane downward.
On Wednesday, Boeing announced that a software update to correct the shortcomings of MCAS is incoming. Until then, all 371 Boeing 737 Max airliners already delivered to customers remain grounded.
As a result of the crashes, the grounding of the fleet, and the public furor, the Boeing 737 Max has become one of the most controversial airliners in recent memory.
But the Max isn’t the first plane to run into trouble, and many have been able to overcome their problems to have successful careers.
Here’s a closer look at some of the most controversial airliners in recent history:
De Havilland Comet
The de Havilland Comet ushered in the age of jet-powered passenger flight when it entered service in 1952.
The shiny new jet was fast, sleek, and represented the pinnacle of aviation technology. And then, one by one, Comets started falling out of the sky.
Some of the early crashes were attributed to a design flaw with the wings, which was quickly fixed.
Between summer 1953 and spring 1954, three Comets broke apart in midair. The plane was grounded by the British government in 1954.
It was eventually discovered that the plane disintegrated because of metal fatigue, which was exacerbated by the square shape of its cabin windows. The Comet was redesigned with thicker skin and oval windows before it was allowed back in service.
Unfortunately for the Comet, by that time, America’s Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8 had taken over as the airline industry’s jet-powered workhorses. More than 100 Comets would be built during the 1950s and early ’60s. Later versions of the Comet would continue in airliner service until the early ’80s.
McDonnell Douglas DC-10
The three-engine McDonnell Douglas DC-10 entered service in 1971 as a smaller rival to the Boeing 747 jumbo jet. But from the beginning, the DC-10 was plagued by problems.
In 1972, American Airlines Flight 96, a nearly brand-new DC-10, had to make an emergency landing in Detroit after losing cabin pressure because the plane’s cargo door blew off mid-flight. A few passengers and crew were injured, but no one was killed.
Two years later, Turkish Airlines Flight 981, another DC-10, also suffered decompression when its cargo door blew off mid-flight. Unfortunately, this time the explosive force of the air rushing out of the plane caused the cabin floor to buckle, damaging the flight controls.
All 346 passengers and crew on board the plane were killed when it nosedived into the French countryside.
The issues that plagued the DC-10 didn’t stop there.
The DC-10 was grounded in 1979 after improper maintenance procedures led an engine to fall off the wing of American Airlines Flight 191 while taking off from Chicago. All 271 people on board the plane were killed, along with two others on the ground.
But the plane went on to become a workhorse for American, United, Continental, and Northwest airlines. It finally exited scheduled passenger service in 2014 and remains popular with cargo carriers such as FedEx.
The Airbus A320 helped put its creator, Airbus, on the map. Since its introduction in the mid-1980s, the single-aisle jet has become the second-best-selling airliner in history, behind only the Boeing 737.
The highlight of the A320 is its advanced fly-by-wire computer-assisted control system. At the time of its debut, there was great debate over whether the industry was ready for such high levels of automation.
The concerns about human-machine interaction were further inflamed by the crash of Air France Flight 296, a demonstration flight designed to promote the capabilities of the A320 that crashed during an air show in 1988. The crash killed three of the passengers on board.
“The A320 has new features which may have inspired some overconfidence in the mind of the Captain,” investigators said in their final report.
But the plane’s reputation recovered in the three decades since the incident.
Boeing 737 Max
The Boeing 737 Max started flying passengers in 2017 and, for the first year and a half of its service life, it was relatively trouble-free.
But on October 28, 2018, Lion Air Flight JT610, a 2-month-old Boeing 737 Max 8, crashed shortly takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board. On March 10, another nearly brand-new 737 Max 8 crashed, and once again, it was within minutes of takeoff.
This time, it was Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302, and another 157 people were killed.
Soon after the Lion Air crash, the existence of the flight-control system MCAS came to light.
Initial reports from the Lion Air investigation indicated that a faulty sensor reading may have triggered MCAS shortly after the flight took off. Observers fear that a similar thing may have happened in the March 10 Ethiopian Airlines flight.
Troublingly, pilots flying the 737 Max did not know MCAS existed until Boeing sent out a memo about it after the Lion Air crash, The Wall Street Journal reported. src:amp. businessinsider
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says airline passengers have no cause for alarm because there is no Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft operating in the country.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Sam Adurogboye, NCAA spokesman, said the agency will continue monitoring developments in the aviation industry to ensure flying safety, TheCable reports.
The safety of Boeing 737 Max 8 has been questioned after two almost brand new planes crashed after takeoff.
The first crash was a Boeing 737 Max 8 belonging to Indonesia’s Lion Air and the other belonged to Ethiopian Airline.
“Presently, the accident aircraft type, Boeing 737 Max 8 is not in operation in the Country,” NCAA’s spokesman said.
“However, the Authority, in line with its Safety Oversight mandate enshrined in the Civil Aviation Act 2006, is consciously monitoring the development (s) with a view to take the necessary steps that will enhance the safety of all aircraft in operation within the Nigerian airspace.”
He further said: ” This is to assure the public that NCAA will continue to ensure that safety regulations are strictly adhered to for the safety of all in Nigeria.
“Our heart is with the Airline and families of the victims of the accident.”
Several airlines had grounded their Boeing 747 Max 8 till investigations are complete on whether the crashes are related.
Following the recent cras of a Boeing B737 MAX 8 plane belonging to the Ethiopian Airways, Air Peace has made it clear to the aviation public that it is yet to take delivery of the Boeing B737 MAX 8 fleet of 10 aircraft.
The Management made to known via an official communication that is now available online,in its official webpage.
The letter urged members of the public to remain confident in the capacity of the aviation regulatory authorities and the technical capabilities of the Boeing group to deliver a technically sound and satisfactory product that will address the current challenge.