Shortly after takeoff from Marana (Arizona) on December 22, the pilots of the aircraft « received an engine indication and, according to standard operating procedure for such a situation, they made the decision to shut down an engine », Air Canada explained in a statement, adding: « Modern planes are designed to operate with a single engine and our crews are trained for such operations. »
« The aircraft was diverted to Tucson, where it landed normally and still remains there, » said Air Canada, without giving more details on the nature of the malfunction, which occurred during a non-commercial « positioning flight » and therefore without passenger. According to the specialist site Aviation24.be, a drop in hydraulic pressure in the left reactor is the cause of this incident.
The Canadian government announced in mid-December that it had validated the design changes to the Boeing 737 Max, grounded for 21 months following two crashes that claimed the lives of 346 people. But the aircraft, operated by Canadian airlines Air Canada, Westjet and Sunwing, has still not received clearance to resume commercial flights in Canada.
The United States cleared the Boeing 737 Max for re-flight in mid-November, but several modifications will need to be made to the planes before they can be returned to service, according to the US Aviation Agency (FAA). Last week, Brazilian company Gol became the first in the world to return the Boeing 737 Max to service on a smooth commercial flight from Sao Paulo to Porto Alegre.