American says 737 MAX experienced 'mechanical issue'

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An American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX jet flying to Newark, New Jersey from Miami landed safely on Friday after pilots shut down an engine during the flight, the US air safety regulator said.

The MAX returned to skies in the United States late last year after it was grounded worldwide in March 2019 following two deadly crashes.

In a statement, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said "pilots reported shutting down an engine in flight" but the plane was able to taxi to its gate on its own power, and the agency will investigate the incident.

American Airlines confirmed to AFP that the issue was related to an engine oil pressure issue and not the faulty flight handling system known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, which was implicated in the crashes that killed a total of 346 people.

"All customers deplaned normally, with no reported injuries to passengers or crew," American Airlines said.

The 737 MAX was a big hit with airlines, becoming Boeing's fastest-selling aircraft until its grounding, which forced the manufacturer to revamp MCAS and implement new pilot training protocols.

The grounding plunged the American aviation giant into crisis, which was exacerbated by the global downturn in travel caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and airlines canceled hundreds of orders for the plane.