US air regulator grounds Boeing’s 737 Max

| 13/03/2019 | 16 Comments
Cayman News Service

Boeing 737 Max aircraft

(CNS): The United States Federal Aviation Administration finally grounded all Boeing 737 Max aircraft, today, after mounting pressure on the regulator. The ban came sometime after the European Union, Canada, China and many other countries, including the Cayman Islands, as well as airlines from around the world had already stopped operating the planes. Boeing’s newest short-haul jet was pulled from service across the globe after an Ethiopia Airlines 737 Max 8 crashed on Sunday just after takeoff, killing all 181 people on board. The incident was similar to a fatal crash in Indonesia in October.

The FAA said the decision was made following the emergence of new evidence collected at the site and analyzed on Wednesday.

“This evidence, together with newly refined satellite data available to FAA this morning, led to this decision,” the regulator said in a statement. Usually one of the first aviation regulators to take action over flight safety, the FAA acted only after more than a dozen countries banned the planes from their air space.

Boeing said in a statement that it supported the FAA action “out of an abundance of caution”, but it continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 Max.

Meanwhile, here in the Cayman Islands, the national flag carrier, Cayman Airways, continues to battle with its schedule after grounding its two 737 Max 8’s, one of which had arrived just days before the crash in Ethiopia and was scheduled to begin service this week.

It is not clear whether the airline was able to service its brand new Denver flight on Wednesday, after the grounding of the Max 8 planes, as that non-stop route had only been made possible because of the acquisition of the new aircraft.

The CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, who has called for the grounding of all Max 8 jets everywhere until it has been established that they are safe, has said that the pilot of the doomed flight told air traffic controllers he was having “flight control problems” before the crash.

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Category: Business, Transport, USA, World News

Comments (16)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The American model of self regulation is great for capital owning rich and terrible for ordinary folk.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Everything is approved till it has multiple failures.

  3. Anonymous says:

    These MAX 8’s are going to be grounded until at least May. Perhaps it’s time for CAL to visit the force majeure terms in their dry lease and get something else in the air?

  4. Anonymous says:

    We don’t need the black boxes to see the horrific aircraft telemetry, including course, altitude, groundspeed, and timeline that have been available and graphed since LNI610 and ETH302 took off. How alarming is it that so-called North American safety professionals were only becoming aware of this public data yesterday?

    The December Emergency Airworthy Directive FAA US-2018-0960/EASA AD US-2018-23-51 instructs pilots to do EXACTLY what Lion Air’s experienced pilots actually did in the cockpit, shortly before piling into the sea. ie. Disable the MACS-overrides and fly manually if there’s still altitude to recover the upset.

    The families of victims have every right to sue all involved. One guy in Canada lost 6 members of his inner family. Absolutely heartbreaking.

    • Anonymous says:

      The scariest part is that the FAA’s first response to other carriers grounding their equipment was to say everything was okay.. nothing to see here. And they were WRONG, finally doing something about it.

  5. Concerned says:

    Boeing and the FAA have a lot to answer for. Why were these complaints not made public so that all the non U.S, airlines flying this aircraft would be aware of the problems. Why was American reportedly provided with a backup system to avoid the nosedive scenario by Boeing,, but not other airlines.I can see these two entities being bombarded with lawsuits in the near future

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think the fact that there were so many pilots making complaints about the plane and the FAA did not recognise their complaints until now is a reality check. Even in the aviation world, just like everything else in this world it seems, a traumatic episode needs to happen before any change occurs. FAA should be more proactive by taking pilots seriously and acting on their recommendations. They are the ones flying the plane, after all. In this case it looks as thought too many corners were cut with the design of the plane, trying to save money, combined with advanced software systems that take away the manual override.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This article documents that US pilots had reported the problems with the Max 8 plane from last year:

  8. Anonymous says:

    The reason the FAA took so long to act is that it now has to answer the hard question as to how it certified an unsafe plane in the first place.

    Is this more indication of the corruption endemic in the Washington swamp?

    • Anonymous says:

      Just like they give green light to medicine that causes horrific and deadly side effects.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most of the certification process used by the FAA is essentially self certification done by Boeing itself. FAA simply doesn’t have the resources to check millions of lines of computer code imbedded in the 737 systems and therefore have to rely on the company’s work. Sorta like big pharma telling FDA Oxycotin wasn’t addictive!

      • Anonymous says:

        8:17 am: Not sure I buy this!! Even experts are saying that the FAA dropped the ball — probably because they are in the pocket of Boeing. Boeing also contributed to Trumps election campaign. Corruption all round.

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