The delivery flight of TUIfly Belgium’s latest Boeing 737 MAX runs into technical problems and returns to Boeing Field


TUIfly Belgium expected to get its new Boeing 737 MAX 8 (leased from Aviation Capital Group) at Brussels Airport this Friday 15 October at 10:35 local time (UTC+2), according to the schedule of the delivery flight JAF981F published in our forum two days ago.

Things didn’t go as expected. The scheduled departure time from Seattle Boeing Field (BFI/KBFI) was 14 October at 15:00 PDT (UTC-7). The aircraft, which already got its Belgian registration OO-TMZ, actually took off from Boeing Field at 18:33,  three and a half hours beyond schedule. It didn’t fly very far. A few minutes into the flight, the crew called Seattle ATC: “Pan pan pan we have a flight control problem“.

The crew requested a block of airspace with a vertical thickness of 4,000ft, centred around the originally cleared altitude of 13,000ft. Twelve minutes later, the crew requested a vector to return to Boeing Field.

The aircraft landed safely at Boeing Field at 19:09. According to some sources, it suffered an electrical stabiliser trim failure.

© Flightradar24
© Flightradar24

A new delivery date has not yet been defined. According to our forum, the plane should arrive in Brussels on 16 October at 10:25 (UTC+2). It eventually landed at 10:15.

Thanks to forum member “passenger” for the Seattle ATC audio link and to “modeS” for the technical information.


  1. Faults, hitches do occur, even for brand new aircraft but testing and trial periods may not always be exhaustive enough as some faults take time to manifest themselves. Unfortunately, owing to some fatal antecedents, Boeing’s woes are always on the front burner of the International media.

  2. Interesting story, but for your technical readers, how about some of the more technical failure details of the cause of the trim failure beyond “electrical trim” failure. Was it a loose electrical connection, open circuit breaker, computer or sensor , or motor/ hydraulic valve failure???

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