US to ground all Boeing crash aircraft

American Airlines Boeing 727 Max 8Image copyright
Joe Raedle

President Donald Trump has announced that the US will immediately ground all Boeing 737 Max aircraft following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet.

The Federal Aviation Administration had previously held out while many countries banned the aircraft from flying over their airspace.

But it said on Wednesday it was suspending the aircraft after analysing new data gathered at the crash site.

Boeing will suspend the entire 371-strong fleet of 737 Max planes.

The US is the last country to suspend the aircraft following the disaster.

The crash on Sunday in Addis Ababa killed 157 people.

It was the second fatal Max 8 disaster in five month after one crashed over Indonesia in October, killing 189 people.

The FAA said new evidence from the crash site in Ethiopia “together with newly refined satellite data available to FAA this morning”, led to the decision to ground the planes.

It added: “The grounding will remain in effect pending further investigation, including examination of information from the aircraft’s flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders.”

Boeing said on Wednesday that it had decided to temporarily ground the planes “out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety”.

American Airlines said 24 of its aircraft would be affected by the suspension, adding: “Our teams will be working to rebook customers as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Canada grounded the planes after its transport minister Marc Garneau said he had received new evidence about the crash.

He said that satellite data showed possible similarities between flight patterns of Boeing 737 Max planes operating in Canada and the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed.

He said: “As a result of new data that we received this morning, and had the chance to analyze, and on the advice of my experts and as a precautionary measure, I issued a safety notice.”

Dennis Muilenburg, president, chief executive and chairman of Boeing, said: “We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.”

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