Boeing 737 Max grounded for 2 weeks after scary ‘Dutch’ roll incident at 32,000 feet

A Boeing 737 Max has been grounded for 20 days after the aircraft experienced a dangerous “Dutch roll” mid-flight, causing it to sway side-to-side in yet another troubling incident for the embattled aviation company.

The Southwest Airlines flight was traveling from Phoenix, Arizona, to Oakland, California, carrying 175 passengers and six crew members, when the aircraft experienced a Dutch Roll, an “unsafe” movement in which the tail wags and the wings oscillate, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The June 12 incident report indicates that pilots regained control of the aircraft, but an inspection upon landing revealed “damage to the standby” power control unit, which provides back-up power to the main rudder.

No passengers were injured, the report says, but the damage to the plane was “substantial.”

It’s unclear when the aircraft will be able to fly again.

“The FAA is working closely with the NTSB and Boeing to investigate this event. We will take appropriate action based on the findings,” the FAA said in a statement to The Independent. The agency noted that other airlines have not reported similar issues.

Boeing deferred comment to Southwest Airlines.

A spokesperson for the airline referred questions to the NTSB and the FAA, adding “Southwest is participating in and supporting the investigation.”

The Independent emailed the NTSB for comment.

This incident is just the latest in a series of problems that have plagued Boeing aircraft in recent months. Perhaps the most well-known accident occurred in January, when a door plug blew out on an Alaska Airlines flight while en route.

The aerospace company is also embroiled in potential legal issues. Not only did passengers on the January Alaska Airlines flight sue, but the company is also up against the Justice Department.

The Justice Department last month claimed that Boeing breached the terms of an agreement that allowed the company to avoid criminal prosecution after two deadly crashes — one in 2018 and one in 2019 — involving its 737 Max aircraft. Boeing argued as recently as this week that it upheld its side of the deal.

It also faces potential problems internally. Despite the deaths of two whistleblowers, around 50 current and old Boeing employees have expressed a desire to speak out about safety concerns, a lawyer previously told The Independent.