KPRC2 Houston travelers concerned over grounding of Boeing 737 planes

Mae Love
March 14, 2019

A spokesman for Ethiopian Airlines had said earlier that the black boxes recovered from the crashed plane would be sent to Germany for analysis.

A handful of lawmakers of both parties have called for the aircraft to be banned from us airspace. An airline official has said one of the recorders was partially damaged.

Canada also grounded 737 Max jets on Wednesday, saying satellite data suggested similarities to a previous crash involving the same plane model.

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 US aircraft manufacturers could select their own employees to help certify their planes. Ethiopian Airlines, widely seen as Africa's best-managed airline, grounded its remaining four models. That was the second crash involving that plane in question; Lion Air flight 610 crashed in October previous year, killing 189.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said their pilots had received special training.

The move to ban the plane follows calls by a number of United States lawmakers to ground the plane on Tuesday, after two crashes of the 737 Max aircraft in the past five months.

Following last October's Lion Air crash in Indonesia, investigators said the pilots had appeared to struggle with an automated system created to keep the plane from stalling, a new feature of the jet. Those relate to the specific behavior of this specific type of aircraft.

But many security experts say it's too early to draw conclusions.

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China led the way in grounding the jets in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines crash, with the European Union following suit, followed by a number of airlines across the world.

More than a dozen relatives of those who perished paid respects on Wednesday at the rural crash site where Flight ET 302 came down in a fireball.

The Ethiopian accident and a Lion air crash in Indonesia left 346 people dead, casting a shadow over Boeing's biggest selling aircraft around the world. Egypt banned the operation of the aircraft.

After last year's Lion Air disaster, Boeing issued guidance to pilots on how to manage the 737-Max's new computer-controlled stability system.

Boeing said in a statement after the president's announcement that it continues to have "full confidence" in the safety of the planes, but had made a decision to act after consultations with customers and authorities around the world.

Resisting pressure, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) acting administrator Dan Elwel said its review had shown "no systemic performance issues".

In a statement Wednesday, before the order from Transport Canada, Air Canada spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur said the airline has a "flexible rebooking policy" that includes options to change flights to another aircraft if space permits, but wouldn't indicate if that comes with a fee.

Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), have voiced concern about the planes while stopping short of calling for them to be grounded. "If there is enough evidence of a potential harm, and in this case I think there is evidence of potential harm, then the prudent thing is to ground those aircraft".

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