Cayman Airways believes grounded planes now safe

Official says latest version of navigation software is "beautiful"

Cayman Airways' new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in Seattle before arriving to Grand Cayman

In testimony before the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday evening, Capt. Dave Scott, vice president of flight operations for Cayman Airways, said he believes its 737 Max 8 planes, that have been grounded since March, will be ready to fly as soon as they are recertified as airworthy by the Civil Aviation Authority. 

Cayman Airways was one of the first companies to voluntarily ground the aircraft after it was involved in two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. A worldwide grounding followed soon after. 

The crashes were eventually blamed on a software system, called MCAS, which is designed to prevent a plane from stalling when a takeoff angle is too steep. 

Taking the two newly purchased planes out of service has hampered the airline. Instead of running its international schedule with four jets – two new 160-seat Max 8s and two older 122-seat 737300s – the airline has been operating with three 737300s.

Addressing the LA, Scott said he personally had flown a simulator with the latest generation of the MCAS system on Sunday evening and “it was beautiful”.

Unlike the first version of the navigation aid, Scott said the now-third iteration of the MCAST does not repeatedly try to force the nose of the plane down if it detects an improper angle, but only engages once.

“I have no doubt that when the aircraft is recertified, it will probably be one of the safest aircraft in the sky,” Scott said. “I have not heard one of our pilots … say he would [not] go and fly it tomorrow.”

MLA Anthony Eden asked how the airline would sell that confidence to the public.

The question went unanswered.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. This is a ridiculous article. The software is not the issue. The actual problem is that the aircraft is fundamentally unstable. The new, larger engine, placed too far forward to clear the ground under the wing has made the 737 airframe (originally designed in the 1960’s) want to nose up. That’s why the MCAS software (which is not needed on any other plane) was developed and installed in the first place – to address the inherent problems that should not exist on any plane. Disabling or limiting the software doesn’t fix the underlying problem that the plane wont fly safely. That’s why more than 500 of these aircraft have been grounded by the FAA for 8 months, with no solution in sight. Its not a software problem or they would be back in the air already.
    I am glad Capt Scott had a nice simulation flight. But the article suggests he believes the problem is with software, if so, he is either inept or misquoted. Let’s hope he was misquoted. And the compass could have spent 5 minutes doing some research for this story. Its a pretty big deal to Cayman. If we don’t trust the pilots, the press, and CAL nobody will fly with them any more, nor should they.