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Air Canada 737 MAX engine problems and transfer

I didn’t want to write this story, but compared with the incident seen in the media, I think it might need some balance. My mother even asked me this story yesterday because she saw this story in the news: “Have you heard of the Boeing 737 MAX in an emergency?”

Air Canada 737 MAX turns due to engine problems

Aviation regulators around the world are beginning to ground the Boeing 737 MAX, which means that airlines are taking these aircraft out of warehouses and preparing to put them back into service.

Since February 24, 2020, one of Air Canada’s 737 MAX aircraft has been stored at the Pinal Airpark in Marana, Arizona. The climate there makes it an ideal place for long-term storage of aircraft.

The plan is that the aircraft with the registration code C-FSNQ will fly from Marana to Montreal on December 22, 2020, with the flight number AC2358, so preparations can begin to resume service.

Well, the plane was set off with a three-person crew as planned, but then there were several accidents. As stated in the Aviation Herald:

  • The crew received an indication of low hydraulic pressure on the left engine; the crew checked the list and consulted the dispatch and maintenance personnel, and decided to use only one engine to continue flying to Montreal
  • Shortly thereafter, the crew received an indication of fuel imbalance from the left, when the crew shut down the engine
  • The crew then declared “PAN PAN”
    ; (emergency but not emergency hazard) and transferred to Tucson, Arizona
  • The plane landed in Tucson 80 minutes after the initial takeoff, which took off from an airport 35 miles away
  • As of now, the plane is still on the ground in Tucson

Diversion of the flight route of the Canadian 737 MAX

Is this situation important?

In the comments on this in mainstream media articles on Facebook, most people seem to recommend stopping the 737 MAX and never flying again. In the final analysis, how could this aircraft have serious problems soon after it was put back into service?

The nuances of this situation cannot really be solved:

  • The 737 MAX was grounded not because of engine problems, but because of problems with the Maneuvering Characteristics Enhancement System (MCAS), which aims to improve the pitch stability of the aircraft; in other words, it has nothing to do with why the 737 MAX grounded in the first place
  • Engine problems in commercial aircraft cause aircraft to divert every day. This is almost never a news report because it is so common and no one is in danger.

Now, in the next few months, the 737 MAX will face more scrutiny than other aircraft, and this is for good reason. The public’s confidence in the 737 MAX is very low and will only recover when the aircraft has been operating as designed for several months/flights without problems. However, every time anything happens, regardless of its severity, it is not surprising that the 737 MAX will become news.

Although we don’t know the cause of this accident, it is likely that this is related to the aircraft being stored for such a long time, not to the 737 MAX.

Although the mechanics have done a great job in extending the storage space of the aircraft, I still doubt that in the next few years we will see some incidents involving aircraft that have just been withdrawn from long-term storage.

For example, in an accident earlier this year, Wizz Air’s Airbus A321 stopped taking off at high speed because the pitot tube was blocked by insect activity. Due to the pandemic, the plane has been in storage for several months. I suspect this will not be the last time this will happen.

Bottom line

After taking off in Arizona, Air Canada’s Air Canada 737 MAX flew to Montreal encountered some engine problems, which caused the flight to be diverted. When the 737 MAX encounters any problems, it is obviously bad for Boeing, but personally, I don’t know much about it.

This is different from the issue of grounding the 737 MAX at the beginning, which is most likely related to the long period of non-flying of the aircraft, rather than anything related to the “MAX”.

But I am not surprised, no matter how small it is, the 737 MAX will be news every time an accident occurs.

What do you think of the Air Canada 737 MAX incident?

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