A Boeing 737 Max victim of “Dutch roll” in flight is now grounded

A Boeing 737 Max victim of “Dutch roll” in flight is now grounded
A Boeing 737 Max victim of “Dutch roll” in flight is now grounded

The aircraft of the American company Southwest Airlines was on a flight between Phoenix and Oakland and suffered significant oscillations following the malfunction of the power control unit.

New incident for a Boeing 737 Max. The FAA, the American transport regulator, has confirmed that an aircraft of this type from the company Southwest Airlines suffered a “Dutch roll” at 32,000 feet during its journey between Phoenix (Arizona) and Oakland (California) on May 25. .

This expression describes very significant transverse oscillations of the aircraft as a result of a loss of stability. Clearly, the passengers were tossed around in flight.

Enough to cause significant discomfort for passengers (or even risk of injury), and make the plane difficult to control. Pilots are nevertheless trained to manage this phenomenon.

Plane grounded

According to the FAA report, a malfunction of the “standby PCU (power control unit)” weakened the directional stability of the plane and was the cause of the incident which was described as an “accident” by the regulator, in view of the significant damage to the device.

However, the pilots were able to regain control and the plane landed safely on the runway at Oakland airport in California without any casualties.

The 737 Max 8 was then grounded until June 6 before being sent to the Boeing factory in Everett. It has since been grounded, which suggests that the problem is quite serious. This is a new thorn in the side of Boeing faced with production problems for the MAX family.

The 737 Max has indeed been the subject of intense scrutiny over the past six months following the door explosion on Alaska Airlines flight AS1282.

Boeing has so far declined to comment on the accident.

Olivier Chicheportiche Journalist BFM Business

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