On Tuesday, March 26th, a Southwest Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft was grounded after two fatal crashes (one earlier in March 2019 and one in October 2018) made an emergency landing in Orlando Florida.
According to CNN, no passengers were aboard Southwest Airlines Flight 8701 as it was being ferried from Orlando International Airport to Victorville, California. Once in California, the plane would be stored with a large portion of the Southwest fleet.
Just minutes after takeoff, the two pilots operating the Max 8 reported: "a performance issue with one of the engines shortly after takeoff.” Later, it was confirmed that one of the engines went out and left the massive plane operating with just one engine.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the issue and is not sure it the non-responsive engine is connected to the fatal crashes that took place prior. For the Ethiopian Airlines crash, the cause is yet to be determined, however, the focus is on an automatic safety “feature which may have forced the nose of each plane lower when it incorrectly believed the plane was in danger of going into a stall.”
With Southwest being such a popular flight network, potential travelers and crew are hoping to have answered sooner than later. According to CNN, Southwest has 34 of Boeing's 737 Max 8 jets- all of which have been pulled from operable flights. For now, the 737 that was forced to land in Florida will remain in Florida and will be given special attention as to why the engine cut out.
Thank God there were no passengers on the flight as the added weight of individuals and luggage could have made a fatal difference. We pray for the Southwest engineers and the pilots who are working to find safe travel with the Boeing 737 Max 8. Please pray with us that they will solve this issue and all passengers and crew will remain safe.