Yet another Boeing 737 Max 8 has run into problems, with an aircraft forced to land due to engine issue shortly after takeoff.
No passengers were aboard the flight, which was being ferried from Orlando International Airport to Victorville, California for storage. Boeing has grounded all 737 Max 8 flights after two deadly crashes in recent months.
Southwest Airlines, the operator of the flight, announced that the plane quickly and successfully made an emergency landing after “a performance issue with one of the engines shortly after takeoff.”
It is currently unclear whether this issue is in any way related to the problems which led to the recent crashes. Investigators covering the 737 Max 8 case are focusing on the anti-stall mechanisms – not general engine problems.
A Boeing spokesman said the company was “aware of the incident and supporting our customer”.
All 157 people aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight died when it crashed shortly after takeoff earlier in March. It was the second fatal incident involving the now-controversial Boeing plane following a Lion Air crash in October, which killed all 189 passengers and crew aboard.
19 jurisdictions including Australia and the entire European Union have banned 737 Max 8 flights.
Boeing is still manufacturing the plane – and maintains the aircraft is safe – but is pausing deliveries to customers for the time being.