Cayman Airways still confident about 737 Max despite crash

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Cayman Airways still confident about 737 Max despite crash

Unread post by bimjim » Sat Nov 10, 2018

CAL still confident about 737 Max despite crash

(CNS): Officials at Cayman Airways Ltd (CAL) appear to remain confident in the decision to replace the national flag carrier’s aging fleet with the Boeing 737 Max 8, despite the recent crash in Indonesia of a relatively new plane and a safety alert from the manufacturer this week. CNS contacted CAL with questions about the pending arrival of the planes but the airline responded by issuing a public statement. Officials said they had been closely monitoring the investigation activities related to the tragic loss of Lion Air’s flight JT610 and suggested maintenance or actions taken in the flight deck during flight could have contributed to the accident. Boeing, however, has indicated a potential systems problem.

CAL said that while the investigations are still in progress, it accepted the warning from Boeing that one possible contributing factor is evidence of erroneous angle of attack flight data, which, if not detected and addressed correctly by the flight deck crew, could result in an unsafe flight situation. Boeing is advising airlines on procedures to deal with false readings from a plane sensor that authorities say malfunctioned on the jet that crashed.

Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer, and the United States Federal Aviation Administration have issued alerts and directives to emphasise the need for flight crews to carry out a set of prescribed procedures contained within the Boeing 737 Max operating manuals. Cayman Airways said it had already incorporated the procedural and training elements necessary to comply with the prescribed Boeing and FAA instructions.

“I can give a full assurance that our new aircraft will not be delivered or accepted unless it is has thoroughly passed all required post production flight and ground tests successfully,” Fabian Whorms, President and CEO of Cayman Airways, stated.

“Cayman Airways operates within the strict parameters of a comprehensive and robust Safety Management System and our new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft will enter passenger service only after both the aircraft and the airline are in full compliance with all safety related requirements. Once the new aircraft enters service, it will be operated and maintained to the highest standards, with our usual and unwavering commitment to safety.

“The recent accident in Indonesia should not be considered as a reference for comparison with present and future operations at Cayman Airways. Outside of the Lion Air incident, the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft model has accumulated hundreds of thousands of hours of safe operations with multiple operators. Today, there are well over 200 Boeing 737 Max aircraft in operation around the world with a large percentage being operated by major North American airlines that operate to and from Grand Cayman. Cayman Airways has had decades of safe operations with Boeing aircraft and we will always have safety as our absolute highest priority,” he added.

The Lion Air Flight 610, which was a relatively new Boeing 737 Max 8, plummeted into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff from the Indonesian capital in late October, killing all 189 people on board.

According to Boeing, their investigations have revealed a systems issue where, if the erroneous input is not addressed, crews may have “difficulty controlling the airplane and lead to excessive nose-down attitude, significant altitude loss and possible impact with terrain”.

CAL is expecting to take delivery of the first of the new planes next month, which successfully completed its first major flight tests on 7 November, the airline said. The aircraft is about to have the Cayman Airways livery applied as part of the final production process. Upon delivery, it will be the first Boeing 737 Max aircraft to be operated by any Caribbean-based airline, and Cayman Airways said it was “working with the greatest of diligence and care, as we replace our current jet fleet with the most refined Boeing 737 model”.

Meanwhile, the probe into what happened with the Lion Air plane is ongoing. Boeing has said it continues to cooperate fully and provide technical assistance at the request and under the direction of government authorities investigating the accident. Boeing has more than 4,500 orders for the planes, which feature larger engines, more aerodynamic wings and an upgraded cockpit, with larger glass displays. The single-aisle family is said to be Boeing’s biggest source of profit.

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