Pilot turns brand new Boeing 737 MAX around when trim systems aren’t working

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A Boeing 737-8 MAX straight from the factory was flying when the pilot declared an emergency, telling the ATC tower that they had no autopilot trim and no electrical trim system and had to trim the aircraft manually. Southwest Airlines Boeing, registration N8844Q, was flying from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) to William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). The pilot reported a trim and autopilot issue and declared an emergency, requesting a return to the airport. The crew requested to level off at 11,000 feet and began running checklists. The pilot and ATC tower calmly communicated the situation and were able to navigate back to the airport safely. The plane returned to Phoenix about 23 minutes after departure and the pilot was able to navigate back to the airport, trimming manually, and safely land without any injury to the 164 passengers on board or damage to the aircraft. The plane had arrived in Phoenix on its delivery flight from Boeing Field the day before and successfully entered service roughly 14 hours later, according to the Aviation Herald. Trimming an aircraft means adjusting the aerodynamic forces on the control surfaces, allowing the pilot to maintain the set attitude without using any control input.

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