Thu, 16 Jul 2020

U.S. joins rest of world in grounding controversial Boeing planes

By Jay Jackson, Arkansas State News.Net
14 Mar 2019, 11:34 GMT+10

WASHINGTON DC - The United States has finally succumbed to grounding Boeing 737 Max planes.

The U.S. had become increasingly isolated as governments and airlines en-masse began grounding the controversial planes soon after the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines flight from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to Nairobi, Kenya on Sunday. The plane crashed six minutes after take-off killing all 157 passengers and crew on board.

China was the first government to react, its regulator ordered all Boeing 737 Max planes in the country be grounded on Monday. The Cayman Islands followed, and then the dominos began to fall. Ireland, Australia, Singapore, the UK, India, France etc etc

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that his administration too was grounding the Boeing planes, overruling an earlier decision by Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to keep the Boeing 737 Max planes in the air.

Trump said all flights currently in operation could continue to their destination, but on arrival they were to be grounded.

"The safety of the American people, of all people, is our paramount concern," Trump said.

The regulator then put out a statement confirming the order.

"The FAA is ordering the temporary grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft operated by U.S. airlines or in U.S. territory. The agency made this decision as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today. This evidence, together with newly refined satellite data available to FAA this morning, led to this decision," the statement said.

"The grounding will remain in effect pending further investigation, including examination of information from the aircraft's flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders."

"An FAA team is in Ethiopia assisting the NTSB as parties to the investigation of the Flight 302 accident. The agency will continue to investigate," the regulator's statement said.

President Trump meantime said he hopes Boeing will come up with an answer as to the problem with the 737 Max's.

"Boeing is an incredible company. They are working very, very hard right now and hopefully they'll very quickly come up with the answer, but until they do, the planes are grounded," he said.

Boeing's CEO Dennis A. Muilenburg reportedly met the U.S. President on Tuesday night and assured him the Boeing jets were safe.

On Wednesday however Canada joined the 40-or-so other countries that had grounded the planes. This seemingly was too much for the U.S., although the FAA cited 'new evidence' collected at the site and analyzed that day.

Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau confirmed this, saying the newly available satellite-tracking data showed similarities between the crash in Ethiopia and the Lion Air in October.

"The satellite tracing data showing the vertical path of the Ethiopian jet at take off and similar data from the Lion Air crash, had showed similar vertical fluctuations and oscillations," Garneau said Wednesday.

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