Why the Boeing 737 Max has been such a mess

107397085 1712261316858 GettyImages 1241993909

107397085 1712261316858 GettyImages 1241993909

Boeing’s 737 has a long history that dates back to the 1960s. The 737 Max, introduced in 2017, has faced numerous issues over the past five years. This includes two deadly crashes involving the Max 8 in 2018 and 2019, as well as a recent incident where a door plug fell off a plane during takeoff in Portland, Oregon. CNBC investigates the unfolding crisis of the 737 Max and discusses the potential future outcomes for Boeing’s popular jet. Share this article via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Email.

Boeing’s 737 has a long history, dating back to the 1960s, with various models being introduced over the decades. The 737 Max, which was introduced in 2017, has faced numerous challenges since its debut. In 2018 and 2019, two fatal crashes involving the Max 8 raised serious concerns about the safety of the aircraft. More recently, in a concerning incident, a door plug fell off a plane during takeoff from Portland, Oregon.

The series of issues surrounding the 737 Max have raised questions about Boeing’s handling of the situation and the future of the aircraft. CNBC delves into the timeline of events that led to the crisis and examines what lies ahead for Boeing’s best-selling jet.

The trouble for the 737 Max began in October 2018, when a Lion Air flight in Indonesia crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board. The following March, an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed in similar circumstances, resulting in the deaths of all 157 people on board. Both crashes were linked to a faulty system known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), which was designed to prevent the aircraft from stalling but ended up causing the nose of the plane to unexpectedly tilt down.

The aftermath of the crashes saw the grounding of the 737 Max fleet worldwide, as regulators and airlines scrambled to determine the cause of the accidents and ensure the safety of the aircraft. Boeing was faced with a crisis of unprecedented proportions, as its reputation and finances were severely impacted by the fallout from the crashes.

In the months that followed, Boeing worked to fix the issues with the 737 Max and get the plane recertified for flight. The company made changes to the MCAS system, improved pilot training procedures, and conducted extensive testing to address the safety concerns raised by the crashes. In November 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) cleared the 737 Max to return to service, paving the way for Boeing to resume deliveries of the aircraft to its customers.

Despite the FAA’s approval, the 737 Max continued to face challenges in the form of technical issues and manufacturing defects. In April 2021, Boeing notified airlines that a small number of 737 Max planes had a problem with their electrical systems, which could potentially affect the operation of certain cockpit instruments. The company also revealed that a manufacturing defect had been discovered in some of the planes, leading to additional inspections and repairs.

The recent incident involving a door plug falling off a 737 Max during takeoff from Portland further underscored the ongoing concerns about the aircraft’s safety and reliability. While no one was injured in the incident, it raised questions about Boeing’s quality control processes and the long-term viability of the 737 Max.

Looking ahead, Boeing faces an uphill battle to regain the trust of regulators, airlines, and the flying public in the wake of the 737 Max crisis. The company’s handling of the situation has been criticized for its lack of transparency and accountability, raising doubts about its ability to prevent similar problems in the future.

The future of the 737 Max remains uncertain, as Boeing works to address the remaining issues with the aircraft and reassure customers that it is safe to fly. The company is betting on the 737 Max to drive its recovery from the financial losses incurred during the grounding of the fleet, but its success will depend on its ability to address the lingering concerns about the aircraft’s safety and quality.

In conclusion, the 737 Max crisis has been a major setback for Boeing, with far-reaching implications for the company and the aviation industry as a whole. The series of incidents and issues surrounding the aircraft have called into question Boeing’s commitment to safety and quality, and raised doubts about the future of its best-selling jet. As Boeing navigates the challenges ahead, it will need to demonstrate a renewed focus on transparency, accountability, and safety to rebuild trust and confidence in its products.

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