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AvTalk Episode 98: The MAX is back

On this episode, The Air Current’s Jon Ostrower joins us to discuss the FAA’s approval of the changes to the 737 MAX and the withdrawal of its grounding order, clearing the way for the aircraft to begin its return to commercial service. We also discuss major developments in aviation business as Korean Air is set to take over Asiana Airlines and Norwegian is filing for financial protection as it seeks to restructure. And… a 737 hit a bear in Alaska.

The MAX is back — In conversation with Jon Ostrower

20 months after the aircraft was ordered grounded, the FAA has approved its return to service. The Air Current’s Jon Ostrower joins us to explain it all. There are software changes, wiring re-routing, and in-depth training for pilots still needed before the MAX can carry passengers. We look at where the program stands now and what’s likely to happen moving forward. We also explore what’s next for regulators, Boeing, the airlines, and the traveling public.

Read more from Ostrower on the historical context of the 737 MAX grounding and what lessons can be learned from the grounding of the DC-10


Norwegian files for examinership in Ireland

Following the Norwegian government’s denial of additional funding, Norwegian Air is seeking financial protection in Ireland (where its aircraft assets are based). We look at how Norwegian got here through a combination of overreach and a string of very bad luck.

An-124 suffers engine failure in Russia

A Volga-Dnper Airlines An-124 suffered an uncontained engine failure on departure from Novosibirsk—possibly as the result of a wildlife encounter. The engine failure caused multiple system failures, including brakes, radio communications, and all electrical systems. The aircraft was brought safely back to the airport, but experienced a runway excursion on landing, likely due to not having any brakes. The electrical failure also explains why the ADS-B data stops suddenly.

Korean Air to take over Asiana Airlines

Korean Air will take over beleaguered Asiana Airlines, making the combined airline one of the world’s largest. We discuss the rationale for the take over and see at what the combined airlines might look like.

Preparing a COVID-19 vaccine for transport

We discuss the recent good news from Pfizer and Moderna and look at some of the challenges ahead for the global supply chain as aviation is set to form the backbone of any vaccine distribution.

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