Aircraft production down 24% globally after Boeing 737 Max crashes

Global aircraft production has fallen by a quarter after the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max jet following two fatal accidents.

ADS, the British aerospace lobby group, said 88 aircraft were delivered in July, down 24% on the same month a year ago, with the fall largely due to the slump in production of single-aisled planes such as the 737. The number of aircraft delivered in the year to date has now reached 716 but that is more than 11% lower than in 2018.

The ADS recently slashed its forecast for 2019 global aircraft deliveries from 1,789 to 1,489.

Boeing’s 737 Max crisis

The first Boeing 737 Max begins commercial operations with Malindo Air. Norwegian Air is also an early adopter of the new model, operating transatlantic flights. The model promises fuel efficiencies attractive to carriers.

Lion Air flight JT610 crashes after making a sudden, sharp dive into the Java Sea 13 minutes after departing from Jakarta, Indonesia. All 189 people onboard are killed. That particular plane had been in use for less than three months.

The plane’s black box recorder reveals that the Lion Air plane had experienced problems with its airspeed indicators on its last four flights.

Boeing issues revised instructions on how pilots should react to erroneous readings from “angle of attack” sensors, believed to be a key factor in the Lion Air crash.

“In our view, the plane was not airworthy,” is the interim finding of the official investigation into the crash. The Indonesian transport safety agency did not pinpoint a definitive cause of the accident, but said Lion Air had kept putting the plane back into service despite repeatedly failing to fix a problem with the airspeed indicator.  

Flight ET302 crashes about six minutes after taking off from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people onboard. The captain had reported difficulties, and flight radar data shows the aircraft was climbing erratically with an unstable vertical airspeed.

The EU, Canada and the US all ground the Boeing 737 Max. Boeing itself issues a statement saying it “continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 Max”, but that “out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public” it w recommending the grounding of the entire global fleet of 371 aircraft.

The interim report into the Ethiopian Airlines crash finds that the pilots correctly followed Boeing’s emergency instructions, but were still unable to stop the plane’s nose repeatedly pointing down. The jet hit an airspeed of 500 knots (575mph), well above its operational limits, before cockpit data recordings stopped.

Airlines extend their ban on using the Boeing 737 Max after the US aviation regulator said it had identified a new potential risk with the plane.

United Airlines becomes the latest carrier to extend its ban on using the Boeing 737 Max after the US aviation regulator said it had identified a new potential risk with the plane.

In the wake of Boeing’s troubles, Airbus seems set to overtake it as the world’s biggest planemaker. As Boeing reported 239 commercial plane deliveries in the first half of the year, a 37% fall, rival Airbus shipped 389 deliveries, up 28% on the same period last year.

Pictures emerge of a Boeing 737 Max due to be delivered to Ryanair with the name 737 Max replaced by 737-8200 on the nose.

The ADS chief executive, Paul Everitt, said the prospect of a no-deal Brexit was making the situation worse for British companies in the £36bn aerospace sector. Firms spent about £600m preparing for the 29 March deadline, and that figure is expected to rise ahead of the new 31 October deadline.

The aerospace industry has been among the most forthright in its opposition to leaving the UK without a deal. Airbus, Europe’s largest aerospace company, has warned it will consider closing British factories in the event of a no-deal Brexit. “No deal remains the worst outcome for industry, with many small businesses particularly vulnerable,” said Everitt.

Source: Read Full Article