Boeing suspends 737 MAX deliveries as France probes black boxes

Lester Mason
March 15, 2019

Meanwhile, the Boeing Company said in a statement that it continued "to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX" but supported the suspension of flights.

On Wednesday, new satellite data and evidence from the scene indicated some similarities and "the possibility of a shared cause" with the Lion Air Crash, which Mr Trump cited in his emergency order that suspended all 737 MAXs across the US.

American Airlines Group Inc, with 24 MAX 8s, planned to cancel around 85 flights per day as a result of the ban, while servicing some of those flights with other aircraft such as the 737-800.

Industry sources said Boeing was planning to make use of every inch of available space at Renton while exploring other options such as the nearby King County International Airport, unofficially called Boeing Field.

A screw-like device found in the wreckage of the Boeing 737 Max that crashed last Sunday in Ethiopia indicates the plane was configured to dive, a piece of evidence that helped convince United States regulators to ground the model, a person familiar with the investigation said late Thursday night.

Sunday's crash, in which 157 people from 35 countries were killed minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa, was the second such calamity involving Boeing's 737 Max in less than six months.

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is also sending three investigators to assist.

Boeing's stock has fallen about 11% since the crash, wiping almost $26bn off its market value. "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", the company added.

In two anonymous reports on flights just after the Lion Air disaster, pilots disconnected the autopilot and corrected the plane's trajectory.

The Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 - Max 8 plane, that crashed Sunday March 10, 2019.

One said the flight crew reviewed the incident "at length. but can't think of any reason the aircraft would pitch nose-down so aggressively". Japan became the latest nation to suspend the planes on Thursday, and Garuda Indonesia said it may cancel its order for 20 of the aircraft, depending the FAA's position.

Both planes were fitted with the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), a newly upgraded system created to push the nose of the plane down should the aircraft get to an altitude that would cause it to suddenly stall. The pilot reported an unspecified problem and was trying to return to the airport.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said the doomed flight's captain Yared Mulugeta Getachew, 29, was an experienced aviator with more than 8,000 flight hours.

"It is hard to get a system to work seamlessly with human beings", he told AFP.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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