More trouble for the Boeing 737 MAX.
A passenger-less Southwest flight headed for the California desert Tuesday had to return to an Orlando airport in an emergency landing after suffering an engine related problem, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The plane is already under harsh scrutiny for two crashes in five months, resulting in nearly 350 deaths.
The emergency landing happened one day before the FAA heads to Capitol Hill to defend why it approved the 737 MAX to fly in the first place.
Ahead of that testimony, Reuters correspondent David Shepardson learned exclusively of changes the FAA plans to announce.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): DAVID SHEPARDSON, REUTERS CORRESPONDENT SAYING: "The transportation inspector general has written a series of critical reports over the last decade about the FAA's shifting of some of the responsibility for certifying aircraft to Boeing and some of the other manufacturers themselves.
So in response to the most recent report, the FAA has pledged by July to revamp how they are overseeing this certification effort by Boeing and these other manufacturers." The FAA has yet to approve a Boeing fix for the software glitch believed to be at the heart of both - the recent Ethiopian Airline crash and the Lion Air disaster in October.
Sources told Reuters the software upgrade is supposed to prevent repeated activation of the anti-stall system and will deactivate the system altogether if two sensors widely disagree.
But that might not be enough to win back confidence from aviation regulators around the world, which have grounded the 737 MAX.
China, which was the first country to ban the 737 MAX from flying after the recent crash, on Tuesday refused to accept any applications to certify the plane for flying.
Meanwhile, the head of Ethiopian Airlines is preparing the world for the first definitive explanation of what happened more than two weeks ago when his Boeing 737 MAX dropped out of the sky... SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) TEWOLDE GEBREMARIAM, CEO, ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES SAYING: "Within one month, there must be a preliminary report so maybe this week or next week." The lead investigators into the crash told Reuters Tuesday the report is very likely to come even sooner, like in a matter of days.