boeing 737
© Reuters / Joshua Roberts
A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft made an emergency landing at Orlando International Airport after an engine malfunction, the FAA has said. The jet was on its way to be grounded in wake of the deadly MAX 8 crashes.

The jet, which was on its way to California to be grounded, suffered an engine problem shortly after takeoff and returned to Orlando International Airport to land. The plane had only two on board; the pilot and co-pilot.

President Donald Trump ordered every 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft grounded earlier this month, after two fatal accidents. Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 nosedived into a field shortly after takeoff two weeks ago, killing all 157 people on board. Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610 plunged into the sea last October, killing all 189 passengers and crew.

Investigators are now checking if the plane's software, namely the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), could be responsible for the accidents. The system adjusts the tail to keep the nose level in flight, but it is suspected that it can overcompensate, forcing the craft into a dive.

In the aftermath of the two tragedies, the spotlight has fallen on the FAA, which reportedly allowed Boeing to conduct its own "flawed" safety analysis of the jet. The FAA trusted Boeing's conclusions, which a team of insiders claim were carried out without proper care, in an attempt to bring the plane to market before rival Airbus launched their own similar jetliner.