It seems that the notorious MCAS may not be the primary cause of the accident of the Ethiopian Airline B-737 max.
I was consoling myself that its never too late for India to announce the grounding of B-737 Max after every other country had done so. India reluctantly followed suit. The ministry of civil aviation proudly tweeted that the DGCA had decided to ground the B-737 Max.
The honourable minister also tweeted about the same and wrote about passenger safety and zero tolerance. Good to hear about passenger convenience too.
My understanding was that since this is a safety issue and the whole world has reacted to it, of course the Max won’t be seen in the skies but on the other hand, additional flights would be flown by other aircrafts to accommodate passengers who are left stranded at various destinations.
At 0820 in the morning I notice that 07 B-737 Max are flying in India and rest in the USA. I was completely aghast. I thought we were proactively working towards displaying our initiatives of building a safety culture in India. It turns out that we were possibly showing our solidarity with Boeing company and USA.
Later the media reported another surprise, the regulator had decided to allow the Max to fly till 1600 hrs of 13th March 2019 to allow the flights to return from international destinations and others to fly to a maintenance base for parking. The obvious question is, why fill aircrafts with passengers and send them to destinations which also serves the dual need of reaching a maintenance facility.
To my horror I noticed that the flights were for example:
Ahmedabad to Varanasi
Jaipur to Guahati
Chennai to Kolkata
Where is the maintenance base here? There is none!
This brings us to the age old issue that even Boeing has been battling with . keeping the commercial hopes alive, safety can take a back seat for some time.