Vietnam Lifts Ban on Boeing 737 Max Aircraft

Vietnam Lifts Ban on Boeing 737 Max Aircraft
File photo of passengers standing outside the departure terminal at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi in 2020. (Photo: Nhac Nguyen/AFP, Getty Images)

The government of Vietnam has lifted a ban on Boeing 737 Max aircraft, according to Reuters, citing Vietnamese state media. The ban on the planes was put in place following two crashes that killed 346 people in 2018 and 2019.

The Civil Aviation Authority Of Vietnam originally grounded all Boeing 737 Max planes along with the rest of the world in March of 2019. But the agency is now sufficiently convinced the Boeing 737 Max is safe to fly again, according to the Tuoi Tre newspaper.

The two deadly crashes occurred less than a year apart. Lion Air Flight 610 crashed near Indonesia on October 29, 2018, killing 189 people, and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed in Ethiopia on March 10, 2019, killing all 157 people aboard.

The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee released a 245-page report in September 2020 outlining the shocking failures that led to the two crashes, including problems with the new Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). The MCAS would force the nose of the plane down when it wasn’t supposed to and pilots didn’t know how to override the control.

From the government report:

Boeing made fundamentally faulty assumptions about critical technologies on the 737 MAX, most notably with MCAS. Based on these faulty assumptions, Boeing permitted MCAS — software designed to automatically push the aeroplane’s nose down in certain conditions — to activate on input from a single angle of attack (AOA) sensor. It also expected that pilots, who were largely unaware that the system existed, would be able to mitigate any potential malfunction. Boeing also failed to classify MCAS as a safety-critical system, which would have attracted greater FAA scrutiny during the certification process. The operation of MCAS also violated Boeing’s own internal design guidelines related to the 737 MAX’s development which stated that the system should “not have any objectionable interaction with the piloting of the aeroplane” and “not interfere with dive recovery.”

The U.S. lifted its ban on the aircraft in November 2020, with countries like Australia and Canada following suit in the following months.