The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has just “ungrounded” the Boeing 737 MAX, clearing the path for the troubled airliner to take to the skies once again in the USA. I’m ready to fly this aircraft. Are you?
FAA Ungrounds 737 MAX
After being grounded for over 600 days, the 737 MAX has been cleared to fly by the FAA. In a video announcing the news, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, a former Air Force pilot and Delta Air Lines executive, noted:
Don’t expect to see the 737 MAX back in the skies immediately, though. First, airlines must:
- update Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) software
- receive FAA approval for their 737 MAX re-training program
- provide additional simulator training to pilots before they can fly the 737 MAX again
American Airlines plans to re-introduce the 737 MAX in January 2021 while Southwest and United do not plan to bring the aircraft back into service at this time.
Yes, I’d Fly On The Boeing 737 MAX…
As View from the Wing notes, the bar for this plane to fly is higher than any other aircraft in the world and it has exceeded that bar. The MCAS issue that played a role in both the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes has been fixed. Consequently, I have absolutely no concerns about flying on this aircraft or taking my entire family on it.
By the way, I may be ready and willing to fly this aircraft from a safety perspective, but not from a comfort perspective. I will still seek to avoid this aircraft not over crash concerns, but crush concerns. In both economy and first class cabins (on American and United), legroom is tight and I doubt Boeing fixed the water splashing problem in the tiny onboard mid-cabin lavatory.
I’ve lost a lot of faith in government regulatory agencies over the years, but I do not think the embarrassed FAA would have re-certified this aircraft without proper vetting this time around. Furthermore, the endorsement by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) gives me even greater peace of mind.
After more than 600 days, the FAA has ungrounded the 737 MAX. Expect to see it back in the skies in the new year. While I won’t be rushing to fly on it for comfort reasons, all safety issues have been addressed to my satisfaction.
Will you fly on the 737 MAX? Do you trust the judgment of the EASA and FAA?