China, Ethiopia, Indonesia Ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 Jet Following Ethiopian Airlines Crash

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China, Ethiopia and Indonesia are among the few countries that have temporarily grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8. The swift decision comes from the deadly crash that took place near Ethiopia’s capitol. FBN’s Jeff Flock talks to Maria Bartiromo on the fallout from the crash and what this could mean for airline carriers in the future.

Investigations are underway and at least three countries (China, Ethiopia, Indonesia) have suspended use of Boeing’s new 737 MAX 8 aircraft amid concerns about the aircraft’s safety after two of the brand new aircraft from Boeing have crashed within 6 months. The Boeing 737 MAX is the fourth generation of the Boeing 737. In the United States, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines are the primary users of the aircraft.

On Monday March 11,2019, The Civil Aviation Administration of China ordered that all domestic Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets be out of the air by 6:00 p.m. local time, due to its principle of “zero tolerance for safety hazards.”

China has one of the world’s largest Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleets with 97 of the narrow body jets in operation, according to China’s state-run media.

Ethiopian Airlines grounded its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets as an “extra safety precaution” after one of their Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets crashed about 6 minutes after takeoff on Sunday March 10,2019. Cayman Airways also reported Monday that the airline was grounding its two “new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft … until more information is received.”

A Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight crashed into the Java Sea about 13 minutes after takeoff on October 29, 2018, killing all 189 people on board. Lion Air operates out of Indonesia. The investigation of the crash includes analysis of reports that passengers that flew on the flight before the aircraft experienced a “roller coaster” flight and abnormal engine noise. Multiple media sources have reported possible problems with the “Angle of Attack” sensors on the aircraft, and that there is a possibility that a stall protection system may have improperly activated, causing the aircraft to automatically dive. In November 2018, U.S. pilots were concerned that they were not getting complete information regarding the protection system, known as Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) in flight crew operations training.

In November 2018, pilots were upset that they weren’t told about the automatic system that causes the nose dive, and were not tole about the simple flip of a switch that overrides the inappropriate automatic response.

Investigators believe the plane’s sensors or its computers had bad data, suggesting the plane was stalling when it was not, but many veteran pilots say they didn’t know the 737 MAX computers can force the nose down to avoid a stall even when pilots are flying manually (NBC News on Nov. 13, 2018).


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