Ethiopian Air Crash: US Grounds Boeing as France Agrees to Examine Black Box

Boeing-737-Max-8-GroundedMarch 14,2019 ( -- Following repeated calls from different parties, the U.S. has finally agreed to ground the B-737 Max 8 as the black boxes recovered from the fatal aircraft are set to be analyzed in France.

Late on Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) said in a statement there were no systemic performance issues and there was no basis for grounding the aircraft. But critics, including US

Senators Roger Wicker, Elizabeth Warren, Mitt Romney, and Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam urged Boeing to consider grounding the B-737 fleet until its safety could be guaranteed.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency and countries like China, Germany, Britain, Singapore, and Australia had already suspended flying the B-737 Max 8 model.

Initially, the FAA said the foreign civil aviation was yet to offer any concrete evidence to warrant any action on the Boeing 737 fleet, but emphasized that any safety issue raised in its review will lead to an immediate response.

The response couldn’t have come sooner. Three days after the fatal crash and following constant backlash from the public, the United States has finally ordered the grounding of all the B-737 Max 8 and 9 aircrafts according to Reuters.

According to industry experts, it wasn’t going to take long before the FAA arrived at the decision they made.

President Trump made the announcement at a briefing on drug trafficking, saying the latest crash was “tragic.” He said he’d discussed the grounding with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, the Transport Secretary Elaine Chao and acting FAA administrator Daniel Elwell and they all agreed with the decision.

“The safety of the American people and all people is our paramount concern,” said President Trump. He branded Boeing an “incredible company” that’s working hard to unearth what transpired.

The statement from Boeing reads;

“Boeing continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX. However, after consultation with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and aviation authorities and its customers around the world, Boeing has determined – out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety- to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 MAX aircraft.

“On behalf of the entire Boeing team, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in these two tragic accidents,” said Dennis Muilenburg, president, CEO, Chairman of The Boeing Company.

“We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution. Safety is a core value at Boeing for as long as we have been building airplanes, and it always will be. There is no greater priority for our company and our industry. 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,”

Boeing makes this recommendation and supports the decision by the FAA.

While this is happening, reports indicate that France agreed to scrutinize the black boxes recovered from the B-737 plane crash. An Ethiopian team led by the investigation bureau has flown the black boxes to Paris for investigation, the national carrier said on Thursday.

This development came as there was a back and forth on the investigations as to who would analyze the black box. The flight data recorder was found 24-hours after the fatal accident, with confirmation from state media and the airline.

On Wednesday, the national carrier’s CEO –in an interview with the press- hinted that the black box would be taken to Europe as Ethiopia lacked the capacity to analyze the device. According to Ethiopian Airline spokesperson, the boxes were to be taken to Germany, but the Germans were categorical they wouldn’t analyze Ethiopian Airlines black box.

Germany’s Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation (BFU) in a statement on Wednesday said “This is a new type of aircraft with a new black box, with new software. We can’t do it,” said Germout Freitag, BFU spokesman.

Many thought Ethiopia would hand over the black box to Boeing, but it was wise to have an independent party analyze the data recorded. As reported by the Aljazeera, Ethiopia was unwilling to hand over the black boxes to American authorities.

France’s Assurance:

France’s announcement that it would analyze the two data recorders recovered after Germany declined to do so helped ease tensions regarding the outcome of the investigations to determine the cause of the accident.

France’s air accident investigation agency BEA is rated highly among the world’s air crash investigative agencies, alongside the National Transportation Safety Board of the U.S. It has labs at its headquarters in Le Bourget.

Now that there’s an independent party scrutinizing the data from the black boxes, it’s a matter of time before you get to know what caused the B-737 Max 8 crash. The outcome of this scrutiny will determine the fate of all the 371 B-737 max 8 and 9 fleets that are at the moment grounded.


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