American Airlines flew a Boeing 737 MAX flight on Wednesday with journalists on board in an attempt to allay fears and convince of the safety of this aircraft, whose flight ban was recently lifted by the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States.
This promotional flight AA9750 took off at around 10:10 local time from Dallas Fort Worth, Texas and landed fifty minutes later in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the airline has a large maintenance base. American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and his wife, as well as American President Robert Isom, were on board of this Boeing 737 MAX 8 registered N308RD.
On-site, mechanics, technicians and engineers took turns to explain the work carried out on the aircraft during the twenty months of immobilisation and just before it was put back into service. Pilots detailed the new training they need to take.
Three more flights with airline employees are also scheduled before commercial flights resume.
The American authorities gave their green light in November for its return to service after several modifications to the aircraft and the establishment of specific training for pilots. The main change requested by regulators is the MCAS flight control software, which pilots on the flights of Lion Air on 29 October 2018, and Ethiopian Airlines on 10 March 2019, had failed to master. Other software needs to be changed as well, and some cables must be repositioned.
American Airlines is planning its first 737 MAX commercial flight on 29 December between Miami and New York La Guardia.
American Airlines was the second-largest customer of the Boeing 737 MAX before the accidents with 24 units in service, behind Southwest (34 units).