KPRC2 Houston travelers concerned over grounding of Boeing 737 planes

Marco Green
March 14, 2019

Boeing had been gearing up for the much anticipated debut of its long-haul 777X aircraft this week but instead it's been left grappling with the grounding of almost two-thirds of its best-selling plane since the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight that killed 157 people.

"The safety of the American people, of all people, is our paramount concern", Mr Trump said. This is not conclusive, but it is something that points possibly in that direction, and at this point we feel that threshold has been crossed.

Australia was among the first countries to ground the aircraft after Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines crash, which happened about six minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa.

The MCAS introduced in the new model was clearly intended by Boeing to be an enhancement to assure and improve safety.

"The 737 MAX makes up less than 1 percent of the global airline fleet and most operators have been able to reconfigure their operations in the short term to limit the impact on passengers", Flightradar24 spokesman Ian Petchenik told DW. "As a result, we have removed our 34 MAX 8 aircraft from scheduled service".

The decision to ground the plane is a precautionary move that was made after a review of all the available evidence, Garneau told a news conference Wednesday in Ottawa that was twice delayed by what he called new incoming information. Trump applauded Muilenburg last June at a National Space Council meeting, calling the CEO a "friend of mine".

As a key military contractor, Boeing is a major lobbying force in Washington.

A separate report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that the FAA was well aware of the issues, and was working with Boeing to roll out a fix, but those efforts were hampered by the partial government shutdown that dragged out in the early weeks of the year thanks to a standoff between Congress and the White House over southern border wall costs.

This was the crux of a Boeing circular to airlines after the Lion Air crash, which was made an Airworthiness Directive by the US Federal Aviation Authority.

After decades of using outside experts to certify the safety of aircraft, the FAA changed its approach in 2005 with the creation of a new program through which Boeing and other USA aircraft manufacturers could select their own employees to help certify their planes.

Countries around the world have grounded the 737 Max jets or banned them from flying over their airspace since the Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed soon after taking off from Addis Ababa on Sunday. While SpiceJet has 12 aircraft, Jet has five planes of this type.

Trump and the Federal Aviation Administration announced Wednesday all Max 8 and the longer Max 9 planes won't fly for the time being. Boeing's volatility due to the 737 Max crashes has already caused the Dow to underperform the S&P 500 this year. In October, a Lion Air flight crashed into the Java Sea. But October's Lion Air crash in Indonesia sparked a debate on automation, particularly over a software system created to push the plane down to stop a stall during flight.

"After the Lion Air crash, questions were raised, so Boeing sent further instructions that it said pilots should know". Begashaw did not indicate which country would conduct it.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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