CAL’s Max 8s cleared for take-off

| 28/01/2021 | 85 Comments
Cayman News Service
Cayman Airways Max 8 aircraft (Photo by Paul Tibbetts)

(CNS): The Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI) has cleared the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft for take-off following clearance by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at the end of last year and approval this week by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). As well as allowing Cayman Airways to take the dust covers off their Max 8s, other airlines using this aircraft will be allowed to enter local airspace once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

The regulator said the approval to operate passenger flights would be subject to close oversight. Cayman Airways has two 737 MAX aircraft, one of which had been housed overseas since the grounding. The airline also has two more planes on order as the Max 8s had been selected by the airline to replace its aging fleet.

“The CAACI is working with Cayman Airways as it safely returns the Boeing 737 MAX to service,” the regulator said in a release. “Prior to this, we will undertake a full review of the airline’s return to service plans including its pilot training programmes and implementation of the required aircraft modifications.”

Officials explained that the decision follows the approval of extensive modifications to the design of the aircraft, to how it is flown, and to pilot training.  This includes modifications to the aircraft’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), as well as other key safety changes aimed at preventing further accidents.

The US FAA is responsible for the initial type certification of the Boeing 737 MAX, as it is manufactured in the USA. The CAACI has based its decision to allow a return to service on detailed information from the FAA, EASA, Boeing and the UK CAA. All airlines will need to go through the necessary steps to return the aircraft to service, including pilot training.

The Boeing aircraft was grounded 22 months ago following two fatal crashes: Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March 2019. Two years later, despite the work done on the aircraft to address the problems responsible for these air tragedies, concerns remain about the plane.

Ed Pierson, a former senior manager at Boeing’s 737 plant in Seattle, raised safety concerns in a new report, which stated that further investigation of electrical issues and production quality problems at the factory is badly needed. Pierson claims regulators and investigators have largely ignored some of the key issues that may have played a part in the crashes.

However, the UK CAA and the FAA stated that their reviews were thorough and the aircraft is now safe. Boeing has also refuted his claims.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    “Prior to this, we will undertake a full review of the airline’s return to service plans including its pilot training programmes and implementation of the required aircraft modifications.”

    Did retraining and modifications already take place?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Seems like most American Airlines passengers have no problem flying the B737 MAX..

    https://skift.com/2021/01/05/american-airlines-finds-travelers-not-avoiding-the-boeing-737-max-as-many-feared/

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, that also doesn’t speak well for the reasoning ability of that segment choosing to fly during emergency lockdown (or to DC) does it? Among them, some 30-40% of the US general population concurrently believes that the senior Democratic Party members are part of a Satanic pedophilia “deep state” group operating under a pizza joint; that 9/11 was a Jewish-orchestrated hoax, and/or never happened; that there is video footage of Hilary Clinton filleting a child’s face; and that some pro-Trump underground militia group was going to round-them-up, en-masse by military coup, on January 20th, and execute some or all of them on live TV during what they thought was a “hoax” inauguration – and which many still won’t accept as legitimate. Non compos mentis. How many of these “savvy” travelers know what a 737 MAX is, or why it was ever newsworthy?!

  3. Jimmy says:

    Just to let everyone know who refuses to fly the 737MAX…. before the grounding of the aircraft there were about 400 737MAX flying around the world. After grounding Boeing continued to build about 400 more which most of them are siting at Boeing’s factory (including CAL’s third MAX) Boeing still has over 3,900 orders of the MAX they plan to fill.
    Additionally, airlines like Cayman airways are replacing the old aircraft with the MAX as a result it will become difficult to not fly on the MAX either way good luck to yall… FYI if you want to avoid flying the 737MAX from Cayman theoretically your options are Delta, JetBlue, Spirt, Air Canada and British Airways… thanks to Covid your only option will soon be British Airways…. sucks to suck

  4. Anonymous says:

    We can bicker all we like about the lease and the aircraft…one thing that i am proud/confident of, is that we have some of the best men and women in the world controlling them.

  5. Annie says:

    The flaws with the Max 8 are not minor, and cannot be fixed with software updates. The entire design is at wrong, To date there is not a MCAS software fix that will address the extra weight of the engines on a plane not designed for said.

    • Anonymous says:

      Says the Cayman Aircraft Expert and Conspiracy Theorist..

      You nah taking the vaccine either, right?

    • Anonymous says:

      The MCAS has nothing to do with the weight of the engines.

      The aircraft is designed with software which attends to the flight spoilers in flight if extended. This feature know as LAM; load alleviation maneuver automatically retracts the flight spoilers under certain load conditions and wing bending moments.

      There is nothing wrong with the aerodynamic design of the airplane.

    • Anonymous says:

      Annie!! Really? You know more than Boeing, FAA, CIAA and ever other regulator in the world.

      I keep saying when you need something fixed just raise it on CNS. The intellect here is staggering.

    • Anonymous says:

      @6:25 Copied and pasted off Facebook?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Some people seriously in this thread acting like the Max 8 is the first plane to ever crash. You outta take a look at the 737s general track record or the A320 track record, or the 767 the list goes on and on. Then they’ll come off their computers and drive in their vehicles which they have a much higher chance of ending up in a crash than they would if they were to fly. Feelings don’t care about facts and the facts are aviation in general is considered one of the safest forms of transportation.

    I’m not gonna sit here and act like I know more than the NTSB, EASA, TSB or AAIB. These are all entities with hundreds of professionals who have years more experience and knowledge in the safety and mechanisms of aircraft and no amount of googling will amount to that. So I’m gonna let these people do their jobs and if the Max 8 is considered safe to fly then it clearly is.

    • Anonymous says:

      You first bobo.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you!!!

      What’s the sense of having all of these world re-known regulatory bodies and aviation professionals if we have the local so called “Cayman aircraft experts” telling us that this people know absolutely nothing and they are the experts in the manufacturing, inspection and regulation of aircraft?

      • Anonymous says:

        I think the point is that all the experts didn’t do their jobs and certified the aircraft in the first place. People may not know anything but for once their skepticism is warranted.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Will we know what aircraft is assigned for our next flight ? (Once the airport opens)
    If my flight is not a Max8 to begin with (which means I book with confidence), but then is changed to a Max8 on the day, do I have any recourse to refuse to fly AND get my money back ? Or if I refused to fly, would CAL just keep my money ?
    How is this issue being regarded by USA air travellers ? Are they expecting to know what plane is being used, and then refuse to fly if its a Max8 ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Fly or not fly you can.

    • Anonymous says:

      As Gandalf said, “Fly, you fools.”

    • Anonymous says:

      Every airline has code for the type of aircraft you will be flying on. Most of us never check it. I have flown on a Max from Miami to Cayman with American and arrived into Miami on Max before they were stopped from flying. It never once crossed my mind to check what type of aircraft I was flying on until I was onboard the actual aircraft.

      Cayman Airways will be flying the Max fairly soon and will most likely be retiring the old B737-300 who have served well but are aging and no longer fuel efficient and require heavy maintenance to keep them in the air.

      The Max is a newer aircraft that has had serious issues but has been certified by every Aviation Authority around the world as safe to fly again.

      I have no problem flying on one be it on American or Cayman Airways again because I strongly believe that over two years of vigorous scrutiny, alterations and certification that this is probably one of the safest airplanes to be on..I don’t think that any other airplane currently in use for the past 10 years has undergone this serious overhaul and recertification and that add another level of comfort for me.

      By the way…I did get my vaccine and I’m still alive. Not even a headache or rash. even got it at the airport within view of a beautiful Cayman Airways MAX 8.

    • Anonymous says:

      The MCAS has nothing to do with the weight of the engines.

      The aircraft is designed with software which attends to the flight spoilers in flight if extended. This feature know as LAM; load alleviation maneuver automatically retracts the flight spoilers under certain load conditions and wing bending moments.

      There is nothing wrong with the aerodynamic design of the airplane.

    • Anonymous says:

      When you look at the flight listings, they show what kind of aircraft it is. You just have to look. If they have to change planes, you have to suck it up.

  8. Anonymous says:

    No thanks guys, would rather swim than be in one of these death traps. Wonder if my life insurance covers me for flying in one of these…

    • Anonymous says:

      Have a good swim… watch out for the marine life.

    • Anonymous says:

      The conspiracy theorists are alive and well in Cayman too.

      Don’t take the Vaccine, it will kill you.

      Don’t take the vaccine, they will insert a tracking device into your arm.

      Don’t fly the Max, it will crash and kill you.

      Don’t fly the Max, unless it is operated by American or Southwest.

      Boy you can hear some $hit!

      Trust me when your time comes to go, not taking a vaccine or not flying on a Max is not going to save you. Try to get a life.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well start flying them on the Grand Cayman to Cayman Brac route.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Much safer flying on a 737 Max 8 than having to drive on Shamrock Road or Esterly Tibbetts Hwy.

    • Anonymous says:

      You could take off a wing and probably still find safer voyage than Eastern Ave on a Friday evening.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So happy! Can’t wait to fly again on these bad boys…

  12. Anonymous says:

    Nah Fam

  13. Anonymous says:

    Great News!!!

    Boeing certainly screwed up with these but with the scrutiny that they have had from Civil Aviation authorities around the world and changes implemented, it is now one of the safest airplanes to fly.

    The fact that American, Southwest, Air Canada and several other operators around the world have been using them since December and were using them without incident prior to the two ill fated crashes makes me feel a lot more comfortable flying on them again.

    • Anonymous says:

      You might want to think about that “using them without incident” phrase. “using them without publicly disclosed incident” may be more accurate. Try reading the report that CNS provided a link too – scary.

    • anon says:

      8.04pm If our Civil Aviation Authority applies the same level of scrutiny to the Max jets as they did to the terminal redevelopment it won’t be worth a toss.

      • Anonymous says:

        The CAA, Civil Aviation Authority is not responsible for the terminal re-development. They are a regulatory body for the aviation industry.

        The CIAA or Cayman Islands Airports Authority is responsible for the redevelopment of the airport and has nothing to do with aircraft regulation or certification.

        Do a little research before you open your mouth to talk foolishness.

  14. Anonymous says:

    After the pandemic ends, all airlines will be desperate to fly these planes because of the incredible fuel cost savings. There will be no option to exit Cayman to the US but on a 737 Max.

    • Say it like it is says:

      7.18pm Wrong – American won’t be flying them on the Cayman route.

      • Anonymous says:

        really now. American operated them many times out of Cayman as I have flown on them many time. I am Platinum member with AA and I know my aircraft. Have you had this confirmed with the CEO of American? If so can you print his response here for the rest of us to see?

        You probably flew on it and didn’t even know. Stop trying to make everybody believe your foolishness.

  15. Elvis says:

    Im good thanks. Ill switch to American airways i think when it is safe to travel

  16. Anonymous says:

    Its not the take off that worries me – its the manner in which they return to earth that’s the concern! That report by Edward Pierson you linked to is extremely concerning.

    No explanation as to what was causing all the other errors reported on both aircraft before their respective crashes, or any rectification or revision to the angle of attack indicators that they think failed and triggered the MCAS system, despite the fact that the AOA that failed on Lion Air had been swapped out for another one that had failed the day before the crash, and yet that apparently also failed. Failure of AOA indicators are extremely serious and have been involved in other fatal crashes. Stopping the autopilot from responding to an AOA failure is not the same as understanding why it failed in the first place and ensuring that it does not reoccur.

  17. Anonymous says:

    No thanks – I’d feel safer being a young female designated driver for Mckeeva.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I’d feel safer getting the covid vaccine than flying on one of those things.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, it’s just too risky. I would rather take a cuban raft than a Max 8 to anywhere.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Listen here….I already got over my fear and got the vaccine but OH HELL NO am I getting on one of these planes!

  21. Anonymous says:

    I would feel safer flying in these Max 8’s than those 2 old birds they are currently using. P.S. CNS Cayman Airways currently have 3 Max 8’s. 2 are here and 1 was never delivered yet.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Cleared to fly with no where to fly to.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The TSA Investigators found a catalog of physical problems with the aircraft beyond the MCAS software, including wiring issues, and fuselage stress cracks (an issue on all extended body 737s) from extending the fuselage and bolting on bigger engines. Do a Google on those. Those will remain unresolved until the next crash and are now swept under the carpet by most major media, as if their findings never happened. Ethiopian Airlines were among the first deliveries of Boeing 737 Max simulators, and unlike most FAA-licenced pilots, those now-deceased pilots, the ones being accused by racially-biased policy makers of being “third world” and thus proficiently deficient, had actually completed and checked out on the optional AOA Disagree training that many US airline pilots had not done, many of them having survived their own scares – the very training that Boeing had asked the FAA to strip from the flight manual in 2017. Essentially, Boeing and the US Government have concluded it will be cheaper to settle future wrongful death suits, than take this aircraft type offline. That doesn’t mean consumers are necessarily willing to fly in them, which is why Boeing has conspicuously dropped the “Max” and has rebranded these as “737-8” to deliberately confuse future travelers.

    • Anonymous says:

      How about you doing a Google on who really is the USA’s primary aviation investigative authority – it would be the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), not the TSA. Re-certification would be responsibility of the FAA, not the TSA. Actually, the TSA are not largely involved in the technical operation of aircraft, only in the safety of an aircraft’s operations, i.e. aviation security – there is a difference.

      • Anonymous says:

        In Dec 2018, a month after Lion Air crash, the FAA privately predicted that MCAS could cause 15 crashes over 30 years, yet they were told to let the planes fly.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d suggest you do a bit more research before you spew the garbage you just allowed to flow from your fingertips.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why dont you take your own advice and read the Pierson report that CNS gave you a link to. Or do you think a senior engineer at Boeing is spouting garbage as well?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hmmm..Boeing has rebranded the MAX 8 to “737-8.”

      Looks like no one told American then as there code is as follows and this is copy and paste from their system.

      7M8-Boeing 737MAX 8 Passenger

      This is exactly the same thing they called it before. If you can show me where Boeing did this rebranding and name change, I will believe you and I will also call American personally and tell them they need to change the coding for their B737-Max aircraft.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Announcement is a moot point, as nobody will be flying anywhere anytime in 2021 . Hopefully the aircrafts reliability is proven in this time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are these planes going to grow a second airspeed pitot tube to feed better data into MCAS? It’s not just software.

      • Anonymous says:

        What? A second? Do you realize that the aircraft has 6 to begin with. Four that provide data to the AIDRUs (ram air and static pressure) and two on the horizontal stabilizer that provides information to the elevator feel and centering computer.

        Armchair pilots always know more….

  25. Anonymous says:

    Break the lease for the new aircraft and properly train the pilots to fly Airbus. Boeing has shown itself to be an airline manufacturer that put profits before the safety of passengers.

    • Anonymous says:

      And Airbus isn’t? Do a bit of research before posting comments like that.

      • anon says:

        1.00pm Airbus did no have a jet crash, lie about the reasons and then allow the same thing to happen again.Boeing has forever trashed it’s reputation in this sordid saga.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I know well!!!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Why aren’t we hearing anything about claims against Boeing for down time? What company was lease through and who are the beneficial owners?

    • Anonymous says:

      They leased all 4 planes through Air Lease Corporation

      • Anonymous says:

        Another redacted Moses-brokered PPM deal that the Cayman public will continue to be paying for long after they’re gone. The scale of their legacy of harm is difficult to quantify because it’s all sealed under conveniently opaque NDAs. All we see are regular $15mln budget reshuffles for unpaid passenger fees, and lease losses to fuel their mistakes and mismanagement. Who can say whether the Enviro Fund ticket levies actually flow to the Enviro Fund. We can’t audit that either.

    • Anonymous says:

      Probably because Boeing has been quietly paying for a lot of planes around the world (including CAL) to sit idle in order to avoid lawsuits. But that’s just a guess. 😉

  28. Anonymous says:

    Um no.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Flying this aircraft model is like Russian roulette.
    ARE YOU IN ?

  30. Anonymous says:

    Take off eh! Without me!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you want to fly anywhere other than the UK not sure you have much choice

    • Anonymous says:

      Get on one of these and you’re bound to get majorly hosed.

    • Anonymous says:

      What do you think is going to be flying into Cayman? Lol American, Southwest and United will all be flying 737-8M’s into Cayman. The only operators not doing so would be Air Canada and JetBlue… you won’t have much of a choice.

  31. Anonymous says:

    sell cal now please.

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