Boeing 737 Max :In this dynamic world, time changes so fast. Few decades back, travelling on an airplane could be affordable only for the rich, but now things have changed. Everyone can travel through planes with ease.
Thanks to the low price of tickets and the rising income of the people. Now, people have become so busy that they struggle to save time for themselves and therefore airplanes have gained much popularity as they are much more efficient and quick.
However, there is always a risk associated with every technology and so is the case with airplanes. Technology has developed a lot in recent years and flights have become much safer, but there is a slight risk always. Today, we will be discussing the Boeing 737 Max plane, yes the plane that was banned by the Indian aviation safety regulator DGCA in the year 2019. Now, it had been given the permit to commercially operate in the country by DGCA. Why was it banned? What has happened since then? Why it has been given permission now? Let’s find out together.
Boeing 737 Max
The Boeing 737 Max plane is a commercial plane that was running in India till 2019. However, it was banned in the year 2019 by the aviation safety regulator of the nation, DGCA. The reason behind this ban was that the plane was involved in two deadly crashes which together led to killing 346 people, which is a lot.
The Boeing 737 Max, the newest in the Boeing 737 narrow-body family, was crashed in the Java sea soon after it took off from Jakarta in October 2018. A similar incident happened in 2019 after aircraft of the same model was crashed in Ethiopia.
Both the crashes were very deadly and lead to the mass killing of people. 346 people were altogether killed in both the accidents which attracted global concerns from around the globe. After the second crash, global regulatory authorities unanimously decided to ground the plane and halt its operations until a complete investigation is done to find the cause behind both the crashes that took place.
Which airlines were using the Boeing 737 Max?
Before the two crashes, several airlines across the globe including some big carriers like the United, American, Southwest, Air Canada along with our very own Spicejet were operating the 737 Max aircraft.
However, things changed a lot after the aircraft crashed for the second time in two years. China was the very first country to halt the operations of this aircraft and all other countries followed this process.
Now, all countries have again given the permit to this aircraft to commercially fly, and after the recent permission given by DGCA, China is the only country left to halt the operations of this aircraft.
What did the investigation reveal?
The investigation started as soon as the operation of the aircraft was halted. During the investigation, it was revealed that the major cause behind the back to back crash of the aircraft was the flaw in the design of this model. It was shocking as it was said to be the most modern jetliner and a flaw in the most modern aircraft is not quite expected.
However, after the halt was imposed, the development of the aircraft was started in order to prevent further crashes and to fix the problem. The newly developed model of this aircraft is equipped with the modern manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system, which helps the aircraft to push its nose down when an emergency threat is sensed.
Why is it important if you are wondering? Well, this helps the aircraft to prevent a high angle of attack which stops from entering into aircraft stall. Now, what is an aircraft stall? If the nose of an airplane is too high, it loses its speed and enters a stall which means that the aircraft loses its flight and can fall from the sky like a stone, leaving nothing for a pilot to do. These manoeuvring systems were designed to prevent this fall.
In the two previous crashes, the previously developed manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system was faulty and they, therefore, misread the plane’s angle of attack during the ascend and therefore it led to a forced nose down leading to crash.
However, it was not only this technical fault that led to the two subsequent crashes of the aircraft, killing a large number of people. During the investigation, it was found that there were several shortcomings in the processes laid down by Boeing along with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
What is currently happening after the investigation is done?
As soon as the investigation was completed and deficiencies were found, corrective measures started to take place. These corrective measures included rectifying the errors in the manoeuvring systems of the aircraft by Boeing and also led to the setting up of new simulators and new aircraft training centres to train pilots about the manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system.
After all, this, when deficiencies were started to reduce and visible progress was made, several countries started to lift their restrictions on the Boeing 737 Max plane, which started with FAA lifting its restrictions from the aircraft. Several other countries like Japan, Europe, UK, Canada Brazil and UAE approved the return of the aircraft to commercial lines after technological upgradation and training were done.
From December 2020 onwards, the airlines of these countries started to use this aircraft for commercial purposes and it should be noted that now these aircraft are resulting to be better than ever before.
Now, DGCA has given the permit to the Boeing 737 Max airplane to operate in the country. However, there is one catch. DGCA has said that the aircraft can operate in the country only after it meets the requirements. It can be operational only after it meets the applicable requirements for returning to the service.
The regulatory board further said that till now, 17 regulators across the globe have granted permission to the aircraft and nearly 34 airlines with 345 aircraft of this model are running currently. However, DGCA has said that the safety of the passengers is their utmost priority and no compromise will be done with that.
The previously happened accidents were very painful for the whole world and now, the permit for the aircraft to be operational again is given only after complete investigation and redevelopment.
At last, if you are wondering what airlines will be operating this aircraft, we have the answer for it too. As of now, only Spicejet is said to operate the Boeing 737 Max aircraft. However, Jet Airways had also previously used this aircraft in meeting its commercial operations.
However, the airline is currently grounded due to its financial crunch and therefore it won’t be operating this aircraft. However, the Akasa airline, the upcoming domestic airline will also be operating the newly redeveloped aircraft to meet its commercial operations. In today’s world, when the demand for airplanes has risen to the top, it has become very necessary for airlines to adopt new aircraft.
However, it should always be kept in our mind that the safety of the passengers is the utmost priority of every airline and the regulatory authority of our country, the DGCA, will never compromise with it.
Edited by Sanjana Simlai.