Max 8 to take maintenance flight

| 19/02/2020 | 78 Comments
Cayman News Service
Cayman Airways Max 8 aircraft (Photo by Paul Tibbetts)

(CNS): One of Cayman Airways’ still grounded new 737 Max 8 aircraft will take to the skies this weekend as part of its maintenance programme. Both planes have been sitting on the tarmac at Owen Roberts International Airport for almost a year in an active maintenance regime. But an actual flight of the aircraft (VP-CIW), operated by Captain Stephen Coe and Captain Perry Panton with an observer from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI) and a representative from the manufacturer, Boeing, will take place this weekend.

The date for the maintenance flight of the second Max aircraft (VP-CIX) is yet to be determined but will occur by early March, CAL officials said in a press release about the planned flights. 

“For almost a year, the grounded Max aircraft have been maintained under an active storage maintenance program as specified by the manufacturer,” stated CAL President and CEO Fabian Whorms, who is a former aircraft engineer.

“Routine maintenance flights become necessary over time as part of this maintenance programme and are being conducted in coordination with the CAACI and Boeing. The exact day and time of the flight for VP-CIW will depend on clearance times provided by Air Traffic Control to avoid airport congestion at ORIA, but likely to be late Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning.

“In addition to the upcoming maintenance flight, we are planning to shortly ferry VP-CIW to a US-based maintenance and storage facility to conduct some required maintenance work and to prepare the aircraft for return to service, which is generally expected to occur later this year.”

Whorms added, “Our second Max, VP-CIX, which has not conducted any commercial flights since its March 2019 delivery, does not require the same level of maintenance at this time and will remain in the current active storage maintenance programme on Grand Cayman.” 

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Comments (78)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Anybody know why the flight of VP-CIW came back to Owen Roberts Intl after 55 mins yesterday Sat 22nd ?

    • Anonymous says:

      It was a maintenance flight, nothing else..hence the reason it returned to base.

      KX was simply preparing it for a ferry flight to California on Monday..

    • Anonymous says:

      7.49am Maintenance flight completed. It will shortly be flown to the US for further maintenance. Not sure how soon is “shortly”.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Maintenance flight completed, everyone safe, no one’s house got crashed into, airport wasn’t evacuated, no emergency landing, airplane operated normally….

    Nothing to see here folks…move along..

  3. Anonymous says:

    There’s no trust in the max8 among the public, it’s stained and unlikely to change. If Boeing had any sense they’d give it up, take off the oversized engines and put back the types that are in the NG’s. There would be some changes needed in the cockpit and cabling but by and large it’s an easy fix and whilst the planes may not be as fuel efficient they’d definitely be more profitable as the public will fly on them. The entire issue with the Max8 is the size of the engines and their having to be located so far forward if the wings, it’s made the plane unsafe in the air. The 737 is really 60 years old, it’s hardly changed. The max is one step too far

  4. Anonymous says:

    Errrrrrm did I just read that the plane will be in the air……as over people’s homes, places of employment, cars in traffic, the beach full of visiting tourists and locals, outdoor recreational areas where young children frolic AND over somewhere that I may be???????

    Oh hell no. If that plane should crash, what happens to us? Ensure that flight path stay s over water and not over and land mass please and thank you!

    • Anonymous says:

      Good Lord, I have never heard more scaremongering in my life. The airplane flew a maintenance flight. Do you really think that those pilots would not know what to do correct the situation that occurred with the two airplanes that crashed? Would that matter do you think they would put their lives in jeopardy much less the general population..Come on now, common sense needs to prevail.

      These airplanes by the time they have been inspected, re-inspected, flight tested etc will be most likely one of the safest airplanes to fly..

      The airplane flew its test flight, all operations were normally. It returned to the airport safely and now will be flown to California for continued maintenance.

      Every airline that has these aircraft are doing the same maintenance checks and flights not just Cayman Airways. Lets be patient and if they are considered not fir for service no country or airline will allow them back into passenger service..Have faith!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe how many Aviation experts we have in Cayman..Can anyone tell me where I can go to get my degree too?

    There is no need for Boeing, Airbus, FAA , CAA, to look further than Cayman to hire your next Expert Aviation employees.

    My suggestion is that you fly all of them over to the Boeing and Airbus factories and let them tell you how to best resolve all of the issues with the MAX and the A220 ..You are taking too much time, these guys can do it in just a few days..

  6. Anonymous says:

    Give’em back and get a fleet of MD80’s. CAL needs to stop being so egotistical

    • Anonymous says:

      Where the hell would you find MD80’s?? They haven’t made them since now defunct TWA was delivered the last one by Boeing in 1999 and the first one was built in 1980..40 years ago….Macdonald Douglas does not even exist anymore..

  7. Anonymous says:

    So, if a 737 Max 8 ever goes back into service (in Cayman or elsewhere)…
    … will potential passengers be able to tell if their upcoming flight is a Max 8 or not ? and at what point ? When you make the booking, or when you are in the departure hall ?
    … will potential passengers be able to change their plans and tickets, without airline penalty, if they discover a Max 8 is scheduled for their flight ?
    … will KNOWINGLY flying on a Max 8 result in your life insurance becoming invalid ? So if there’s an accident, your insurer will say “tough” ? Will insurers increase life/health insurance rates or deny claims, if Max 8’s are involved ?
    … will air crew be able to opt out of Max 8 flights, without consequences on pay, seniority, or disciplinary action ?

    • Anonymous says:

      What happens if you get on any other type of aircraft that crashes? Don’t be stupid? Do you believe any airline, regulatory body or Boeing itself would take the chance of putting these airplanes back in service if they were not 100 percent sure that the issues are fixed..

      Stop the scaremongering..

      • Anon says:

        5.37pm Boeing knew about the software problems and were 100% sure they were not fixed before they allowed them to fly into the ground.

        • Anonymous says:

          I agree that Boeing knew and that doesn’t excuse them. What I am saying is that protocols have changed. The FAA no longer allows Boeing to certify their own airplanes which in my opinion should not have happened in the first place. For an aircraft of that type to operate anywhere in the world again including Cayman, Boeing will have to prove and be checked by multiple regulatory agencies including the FAA and others like the, UK’s CAA, Cayman CAACI and the European EASA.

  8. Anonymous says:

    How can an aircraft banned from flying in worldwide air-space just idly take off from here to the U.S.? Even empty on a ferry flight .

  9. Anonymous says:

    It is time to make some serious decisions about these planes. New issues continue to be found and customer confidence has been damaged beyond repair. Many people will not travel on these planes unless they have no other option so the government needs to recognize that the planes are not good for future revenue prospects.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Leave it up there!!

  11. Anon says:

    Invite the Board of Directors and their spouses on this flight, they love freebies – and let’s see how many show up.

  12. Anonymous says:

    maybe with this maintenance in the US they can slap in some modern entertainment and not leaving it looking like the inside belongs in the 80’s lol

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hope they’ve installed ejection seats :\

  14. Anonymous says:

    One crashed plane – investigations, press attention, politicians’ statements and discussions.

    The same number of people in one week killed on the streets and roads – universal silence, because this is considered to be THE NORM.

  15. Anonymous says:

    man I hate the short straw game.
    Maybe put the Minister for Propaganda on there.
    and Moses from Marketing.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The 737 Max 8 are a total failure for Boeing. With that said, can Government, the Board and Management of Cayman Airways come down off their high horses and look to replace with B737-700 or 800 series aircraft. These models can be purchased worldwide for good market value and most air frames are relatively new i.e 7-10 years old. The people are speaking on this issue just as loud as the dock and Smith Cover and we DO NO WANT to fly on these planes. Will it take a protest at the airport terminal to get CIG and CAL to LISTEN to the PEOPLE. I hope they know that PEOPLE POWER is POWERFUL.

    Fly the planes to the USA, place a for sale sign in the cockpit window and pray that someone makes an offer. That is what the people are demanding.

    • Anonymous says:

      Upon inspection (Oct 2019) 25% of extended 737 NG’s looked at showed fuselage stress cracks – even planes that had been in service for just months. The only reasons the entire NG line hasn’t been grounded, are because none of the other ones have crashed as a result, and it would be too disruptive to the global economy.

    • HDB3 says:

      Uuuuhm NG? have a look at this and get back to me

    • Anonymous says:

      So you won’t US anymore as many airlines flies Max 8 from Cayman to US.

    • Anonymous says:

      How can Cayman Airways sell planes that they don’t own…They are leased aircraft, Cayman Airways does not have that kind of

  17. Anonymous says:

    We all have the internet. We need to stop pretending this is just a software issue, or an aircraft that will be put back into service anytime soon. Best estimates are Q3 2020, but more likely 2021+.

    Problem 1: MCAS is a necessary software override that ties into new engines (providing increased thrust) and pitch control system, to keep the extended, unbalanced fuselage from stalling. Problem 2: MCAS relies on one, potentially faulty airspeed pitot tube. Problem 3: FAA discovered stress cracks in fuselages of 25% of extended NG 737’s inspected – many of them just months old. They contemplated grounding ALL 737NG’s. Problem 4: at least 12 different wiring short locations have been identified. Problem 5: firsthand testimonials of lax Boeing line-work quality control in an effort to shave cost and rush aircraft to service. Problem 6: debris found in brand new fuel tanks (see #5).

    I will never put my family in one of those planes again. American Airlines understands that, and have bought up Airbus production. Cayman Airways is literally years behind other airlines in understanding the hurdles to a return to service – and the significant barriers to restoring passenger faith.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good Comments except that American/Southwest/United will fly the MAX once the regulators have checked and re-checked and certified everything that Boeing has done to ensure that these aircraft are safe to fly again.

      Airbus is now now having similar problems with their newest Airbus A220 which will most likely lead to them being grounded as well.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe. It’ll more likely become the L-1011 that passengers don’t want to board, especially after a “risk-based” compromise. Meanwhile, it’s hard to understand what hymn sheet CAL is reading from. All that we can surmise is that we continue to get screwed on yet another secret Moses deal.

      • Anonymous says:

        11:03 And there are problems with the A320 Neo. Airbus A320-series operators (BA is one) are also finding that the older aircraft are becoming increasingly prone to technical issues. Anyone who ordered B777s with R-R Trent engines has problems. BA’s brand new A350 suffered two complete hydraulic failures in a week – it’s just chaos. I think what’s happened is the accountants and sales staff are over-ruling the engineers when it comes to realistic delivery dates and production targets because of the competition between Boeing and Airbus. In the end there’s only one loser here – us passengers.

        • Anonymous says:

          1:26 you know the facts

          It isn’t even the older generation that’s giving the problems anymore.


          787- Battery Problems (Grounded), then the Trent 1000s

          737 MAX- Faulty Wing Parts ( on NGs too) MCAS, wiring and the debris in the fuel tanks

          A320NEO- Engine Failures
          A321NEO- Began suffering something Similar to MCAS
          A350- Basically overworked

    • Anonymous says:


  18. Anonymous says:

    OMG! @1:09 couldn’t say it any better and clearer.

  19. Frequent Flier says:

    Great news: fly the plane to the U.S., and LEAVE IT THERE!

    • Anonymous says:

      Hope they take most of our LA with them

      • Anonymous says:

        and the voters who elected them!

        • Anonymous says:

          1.20pm Obviously a non voter who wants to run off the locals and take over. Why don’t you just crawl back under the rock you left. I keep warning my people about people like you. In everyday life you are probably a wolf in sheep’s clothing working to divide and conquer us while pretending to be doing good for us. You are very face of evil.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Why dont the boeing officials test it out first.

    • Anonymous says:

      There will be a Boeing “official” on board. You do realize that the CAACI would not allow this test flight if they thought it was going to crash..Come on people..let them get to work on fixing the damn thing..

      • Anonymous says:

        It cannot be fixed. The design is defective. The MCAS system is simply a failed attempt to compensate for the design defect.

        • Anonymous says:

          Wow, Why is Boeing wasting time trying to fix them then? They should just hire you, take your word for it and throw them in the trash…

          Tell me again where did you order your Aeronautics degree from?

          • Anonymous says:

            Studies were in physics and I trained for private pilot’s license. The engines are too big for the 1950’s designed airframe requiring them to be mounted high and forward on the wing. That causes the nose to have a tendency to pitch up in highest power settings, and MCAS is intended to compensate for that while also seeking to maintain handling characteristics of NG series 737’s.

            The manufacturer then blamed the pilots when it all went wrong.

            Do what you want with the planes. I am not flying on them.

            • Anonymous says:

              Great Credentials, Boeing really needs to get you on board to sort this problem and help them with future aircraft design..

              Did you graduate? Just asking for a friend…

  21. Anonymous says:

    We live in a world where we have access to the internet, google and many other ways of seeking out information and I really wish that before we make all of these stupid and ignorant remarks that we take the time not to just listen to CNN but really do some research. The news media today is into sensationalism as that is what sells best..

    These planes were put into service for over a year with multiple airlines before at least one major problem which unfortunately led to many lives being lost. This cannot be forgiven or just forgotten..Boeing has since been stripped of its ability to approve the manufacturing and certifying of it’s planes and in particular this one. Boeing has been told in no uncertain terms what it needs to do before the MAX can come back into service and that doesn’t just go for Boeing or Cayman Airways but for every other operator worldwide of this airplane.

    We need to stop the scaremongering and allow Boeing, the FAA, The CAA, the CAACI and the European EASA and all of the other regulatory bodies around the world to get on with their work ensuring that these planes can be made as safe or even more safe that other airplanes in the air everyday.

    Cayman Airways was, I believe the second operator, worldwide that took the decision to remove the MAX from its operations. That alone speaks volumes for the airline and shows the level of concern for safety that airline continues to invoke in their 50 plus years of service.

    No one could have known including all of the airlines operating the MAX in their fleet that those two fateful flights would have occurred. It was a tragedy but one that immediately brought together the powers that be to ensure that these planes would never return to service and risk any more lives until they were completely tried and tested.

    This maintenance test flight that Cayman Airways is doing is what every airline has to do when an aircraft is stored for this length of time. This is not a commercial flight. I know these pilots and they would never take a chance getting into the cockpit of that aircraft if they didn’t feel safe to do so. Neither would the other persons from Boeing or the CAACI.

    Folks, this is a machine that needs to be repaired and made safe. We have had issues in the past, granted not to this degree, with certain other aircraft and not just Boeing. In fact the new Airbus A220 which was a rising star in the AIrbus fleet, just like the MAX continues to have issues with engines shutting down in flight but it doesn’t mean that AIrbus is just going to through them out. They will research, find the problems and fix the airplanes so that this ceases to occur. This is what “will” have to happen with Boeing before the MAX can ever fly commercially again.

    I know that it is not easy to just say but let’s not get so emotionally charged about this issue because it is one that clearly cost lives but I do not believe that Cayman Airways will ever put one passenger on those airplanes until they are fully certified and test flown and they and all the regulatory bodies are completely satisfied that the airplanes are safe for commercial flights.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good comment.

      One detail:
      Boeing admitted that they knew about existing problems, yet notified no one.

      I miss the time where I could just read a newspaper. If one wanted to comment, he had to write a letter to the editor. I would just throw away advertisement inserts. Now I get dizzy from popping, rolling, flashing ads from every direction. Every single online news outlet, even those that used to have good reputation, bombards you with trashy “news” and never misses to report tragic deaths. Daily news have become daily trash and obituaries. As if deaths have become something to be afraid of.

    • Anonymous says:

      yeah, and the last captain I went with out to sea with here on the North Sound, which wasn’t even the ocean, was about as prepared for even minor crappy weather as a 9 year old.

    • Anon says:

      11.40pm How many more times must we hear gushing comments about Cayman Airways suspending their Max aircraft so quickly. The fact is that unlike most airlines that decision cost them nothing, just another dip in the bottomless well of taxpayer funding.

  22. Anonymous says:

    They literally just found another problem with it. The BBC had an article today that stated that debris was found in the fuel tanks of some Max 8 planes that were waiting to be delivered. Dont make them airborne ever again… They are dangerous.

  23. Anonymous says:

    You can fly it over mine anytime!

  24. Anonymous says:


  25. Anonymous says:

    Keep heading north over waters please.

  26. Anonymous says:


  27. Anonymous says:

    flying over your house or any other house doesn’t do any harm, it’s when they crash into Your house, so let’s hope it’s a safe flight for all involved.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Please do not fly over my house. Thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Looks like we will all have to resort to spending vacations at home on the rock. Too much problems with cruise ships and airplanes! What is the world coming to?

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