An American Airlines 737 MAX bound for Newark safely landed, but not before the captain declared an emergency after shutting down one engine. The issue is not related to the defects which contributed to the crashes of two MAX jets just five months apart in 2018 and 2019.
American Airlines 737 MAX Lands Safely After Emergency Declaration
American’s Flight 2555 departed Miami (MIA) on Friday and was bound for Newark (EWR). 95 passengers and six crewmembers were onboard.
Pilots noticed an engine oil pressure indicator light toward the end of the flight. As a precautionary measure, the captain declared an emergency and shut down the impacted engine for the final 20 minutes of the flight. The aircraft landed in Newark and taxied to the gate using its own power.
The issue is not believed to be linked to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) system which played a role in the crashes and led to two aircraft being grounded for nearly two years.
A declared emergency is not necessarily cause for alarm. In fact, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson warned several months ago that mechanical problems occasionally occur:
“[I]t is inevitable that at some time in the future, a Boeing 737 MAX will turn back to its originating airport, divert, or land at its destination with an actual or suspected in-flight problem.
“It’s very important to differentiate between these routine events that happen with any aircraft and the acute safety issues that led to the loss of lives and grounding of the MAX.”
Nevertheless, Boeing’s troubled 737 MAX program (rightfully) receives additional scrutiny and even “routine” diversions like this one merit mention.
An American Airlines 737 MAX declared an emergency before landing safely on Friday. No passengers were injured and none were likely ever in danger. The problem is not related to the MCAS issue. Still, this aircraft will continue to be closely scrutinized like none other.
image: Nathan Coats