Instead, he built a software system – Maneuvering Characteristic Augmentation System (MCAS) – that would trigger automatically to prevent these stalls. However, the MCAS malfunctioned, resulting in two fatal crashes: Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. further investigation found that Boeing employees had raised major concerns on the design and operation of the system. And the FAA added that it had failed in its oversight when the aircraft was initially certified as safe.
After the crashes, the 737 Max came to a standstill, with Boeing spending the next 18 months working to resolve its issues. This process has put up a number of additional bugs in the system who needed their own time to settle down, further delaying its return. the The FAA recertified the aircraft in November (European regulators did the same October) and American quickly ran a test flight – with the media on board – early December. The airline has claimed that passengers who do not wish to fly on a 737 max will be offered a ‘flexible booking change’.
A number of other airlines are planning to bring the 737 Max back to the skies until 2021, with United Airlines planning to resume service in February. Southwest Airlines, meanwhile, says it will resume at some point in the second quarter of 2021, so at least by June. It remains to be seen, however, whether an aircraft that has been touted as an example of Boeing’s culture failure, and as a wider calamity, will be able to win over a suspicious audience.