American Airlines takes the first step to return Boeing 737 Max to service

Local

DALLAS, Texas (KSNW) – Boeing 737 Max took off on Wednesday morning from Dallas-Fort Worth on its first public appearance with media onboard on the American Airlines flight. The flight carried journalists from Dallas to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Five more flights will cater to American Airlines employees in an effort to boost confidence in the jetliner, CEO Doug Parker announced in November.

American Airlines pilots captain Pet Gamble, left, and first officer John Konstanzer chat in the cockpit of a Boeing 737 Max jet before taking off from Dallas Fort Worth airport in Grapevine, Texas, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. American Airlines took its long-grounded Boeing 737 Max jets out of storage, updating key flight-control software, and flying the planes in preparation for the first flights with paying passengers later this month. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The plane was grounded in March 2019, after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet. That happened less than five months after another Max flown by Indonesia’s Lion Air plunged into the Java Sea. A total of 346 passengers and crew members on both planes were killed.

On November 18, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is clearing Boeing’s 737 Max for flight. The nation’s air safety agency announced the move early Wednesday, saying it was done after a comprehensive and methodical 20-month review process.

Investigators focused on anti-stall software that Boeing had devised to counter the plane’s tendency to tilt nose-up because of the size and placement of the engines. That software pushed the nose down repeatedly on both planes that crashed, overcoming the pilots’ struggles to regain control. In each case, a single faulty sensor triggered the nose-down pitch.

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