CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) could potentially lift the 20-month grounding of Boeing 737 Max today.
After two fatal crashes that happened with the plane overseas, it has been grounded since March 2019. No plane in history has ever been grounded for as long as the 737 Max.
Southwest Airlines has the most grounded Max’s with 34, United Airlines has 14, and American Airlines has 24.
Now, American Airlines says it is preparing to fly a single max flight daily from Dec. 29th through Jan. 4th between Miami and New York. Customers will be told in advance they’re booked on a Max and can rebook if they are not comfortable.
346 people died after a software glitch and cascading failures put two planes into fatal nose dives.
The 737 Max, Boeing’s best selling jet, was grounded on March 13, 2019 after the second fatal crash. The first accident involved a Lion Air Jet on October 29, 2018.
Crash victim family members say they think it’s too soon to send the planes back into the sky.
Brittany Riffel of California who lost her husband and brother in law in the crash abroad the Ethiopian Flight 302, who was also seven months pregnant at the time, says, “We are speaking up and concerned because we don’t want anybody to go through what we have all gone through. I really, truly hope the Max 8 is safe. I would want nothing more for it to be safe in the air, and have no more lives at cost the Max 8. That’s what this is all about.”
Most airlines suggest it will take a month or longer to prepare each plane for flight. The FAA is expected to require simulator training for pilots. The Boeing 737 Max is built just outside Seattle in Washington.
The FAA administrator flew the redesigned Max himself back in September. He says it responded well and he liked what he saw.