Canada’s largest airlines say it’s too early for them to make long-term decisions on the fate of their Boeing 737 MAX aircraft as the investigation into the latest crash in Ethiopia reveals some disturbing details. Air Canada has 24 MAXes grounded and WestJet has 13. Sunwing also has four. The cockpit voice recorder from the Ethiopian Airlines crash in early March has revealed that the pilots did as they had been trained in the wake of the earlier Lion Air crash by throwing switches to cut off power to the motors that were erroneously deflecting the horizontal stabilizer and putting the aircraft into a dive. For some reason, they reactivated the system a few minutes later.
Boeing had hoped to have a software fix this week for the FAA to evaluate but that has been delayed for weeks. The FAA has said it will take its time testing the system so it’s likely the planes will be grounded for weeks after that. Air Canada has rejigged its schedule and leased additional aircraft to park the MAXes until July 1 but it’s not clear what will happen after that. WestJet said it has reworked its schedule to minimize impact and its not speculating on timelines either.