Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Tuesday said the aviation company is "humbled and learning" in the wake of a fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash that led nations around the world to ground its 737 Max plane.
The US Department of Transportation also released a statement Monday announcing the "establishment of an expert Special Committee to review the procedures of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the certification of new aircraft, including the Boeing 737 MAX".
The FAA said in a statement that the Southwest flight returned to the Orlando airport and landed safely. Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft sits at Midway International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, on March 13, 2019.
Ethiopian and French investigators have pointed to "clear similarities" between the two crashes, putting pressure on Boeing and U.S. regulators to come up with an adequate fix.
The flight was scheduled to fly from Orlando to a logistics airport in Victorville, California, near the Mojave desert, where Southwest began flying its fleet of 34 MAX jets for storage. Check back soon for updates.
Although the investigations are continuing, the automated system, known as MCAS, is a focus of authorities trying to determine what went wrong in the Lion Air disaster in October and the Ethiopian Airlines crash of the same Boeing model this month.
The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) said it was investigating Tuesday's emergency landing, which happened shortly after take off. The MCAS system automatically pushes the plane's nose down under certain circumstances, potentially surprising pilots who are unfamiliar with the system and overriding their commands.
Boeing remains under intense pressure following the two crashes, which will be the subject of a Senate hearing Wednesday.
Such headline figures surrounding state visits typically mask a mixture of old and new business, but the deal signals China's return to the global aircraft market after a pause of around a year due to trade tensions, industry sources said.
Rather than fly to California, Southwest said the plane will be moved to an Orlando maintenance facility for review.
A Lion Air flight crashed into the Java Sea after taking off from an airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, Oct. 29, killing 184 passengers and five crew members.
Both those incidents occurred under similar circumstances and the FAA has said new evidence suggests they may be linked.
With the MAX grounded globally, no passengers were aboard the aircraft.
In fact, the Times reports, the pilots and crew of the Lion Air flight were not even aware of the system; the captain reportedly consulted a technical manual in the jet's final airborne moments.