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Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX suffers engine failure during ferry flight



On Tuesday’s ferry flight from the Mojave Desert to Quebec, the Air Canada 737 MAX 8 declared a state of emergency due to low left engine pressure and subsequent fuel imbalance in the left fuel tank. The plane transferred to Tuscon one hour and twenty minutes after takeoff and landed without incident.

Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX
The Air Canada 737 MAX was transferred to Tuscon on a ferry to Montreal on Tuesday.Photo: Getty Images

The crew decided to shut down the engine and transfer

On December 22, an Air Canada 737 MAX was on its way from Pinal Airpark (MZJ) in Marana, Arizona to Montreal, Quebec. At that time, two related incidents caused it to diverted to Tuscon.

Flight AC2358 took off from MZJ at 09:32 local time with three crew members on board. Soon after takeoff, the pilot received a hydraulic low pressure indication from the left engine.

The crew checked the list, and after consulting with the dispatch and maintenance department, they decided to continue to Canada and Montreal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL). However, the Air Herald reported that this did not end their scourge.

Shortly thereafter, the left wing fuel tank showed a fuel imbalance at 39,000 feet. At this time, the cockpit crew decided to turn off the left engine. They also announced an international standard emergency signal; instead of continuing north, the Pampang pilot turned to Tuscon International Airport (TUS).

Air Canada 737 MAX
The plane landed without accident and was escorted to remote areas by airport emergency services.Photo: Getty Images

Returned after spending nearly a year in the desert

About 80 minutes after takeoff, MAX landed safely on runway 11L of TUS. The emergency service met the plane on the taxiway. After the initial inspection, they took it to a remote location on the tarmac. At the time of writing, the plane is still in Tuscon. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) said it will investigate the incident.

The aircraft in question is the 737 MAX 8 registered as C-FSNQ. It arrived with Air Canada in June 2018. It moved to the dry Mojave Desert in February of this year, and was joined by almost all Air Canada MAXs to C-FSNU, C-GEIV and C-GEJL shortly thereafter, and has so far returned from Arizona.

Air Canada recently sold nine 737 MAX aircraft for leaseback.Photo: Getty Images

Powerful MAX migration

The Canadian flag airline already has 24 MAX 8 aircraft in its fleet. However, in response to the current crisis, the company has sold 9 of them for leaseback. At the same time, Star Alliance members hope to deliver 14 more aircraft.

After being recertified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) more than a month ago, Boeing is clearing its roster of 737 MAX jets that are ready but not yet delivered. However, a month after the grounding, only ten aircraft entered the ranks of the new owners.

Although this seems to have nothing to do with the software issue that caused the grounding of the aircraft, it is too early to say whether this incident will affect Air Canada’s decision in any way on when to put MAX into service.

“Simple Flight” has contacted the airline to comment, but has not received a reply at the time of publication.

What do you think of the MAX event on Tuesday? Let us know in the comments.


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