Ethiopian, World Airlines Suspend Boeing 737 Following Fatal Crash

Ethiopian-grounds-737March11, 2019 ( - Ethiopian Airlines has suspended the use of its Boeing 737 Max 8 jets as a safety measure following the fatal crash of one of its planes that killed all the 157 people on board.

Asrat Begashaw announced on Monday that though the cause of the crush is yet unknown, the airline decided it was best to ground the remaining four aircrafts until further notice. Prior to the crash, the national carrier was operating five newly delivered 737 Max 8 aircrafts and was waiting for the manufacturer to deliver 25 additional planes.

This is the second time (in a space of six months) the same model has been involved in a crash, shortly after takeoff according to Reuters. In October last year, Lion Air Flight 610 carrying 189 people crashed into the Java Sea off the coast of Indonesia, just 13 minutes after taking off. All its occupants lost their lives.

The cause of the Indonesian crash is yet to be determined as investigations are ongoing. But in a preliminary report released in November, before the flight voice recorder was retrieved, the focus was on training, maintenance, and a recently replaced sensor. But it didn’t mention the cause of the crash.

Dr. Peter Bruce from the Swinburne University in Melbourne is adamant we should allow investigators to determine the real cause of the Boeing 737 incidences.

“With investigations still ongoing with the Indonesian event, I’m not sure if there’s any concern for the aircraft type yet until evidence suggests there is something going on.” He said.

Ethiopia isn’t the only country that’s suspended Boeing 737 Max 8 operations. According to Reuters, China’s aviation regulator yesterday grounded around 100 Boeing Co 737 Max 8 aircrafts after the fatal crash in Ethiopia.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in a statement, directed all the 737 Max 8s to suspend operations by 6 p.m. latest (1000 GMT). CAAC said it’ll notify its airlines when to resume operating the Boeing 737 Max 8s after communicating with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Boeing to ensure the model’s safety.

According to the CAAC, the two accidents both involved newly delivered Boeing 737 Max 8 planes and occurred during take-off, and as such there’s some degree of connection in the two incidences. Boeing has since dispatched a team of technical experts to Ethiopia to investigate the crash.

Cayman Airways has also grounded its fleet of new 737 Max 8 planes until it gathers more information on the issue. But no other airline has confirmed the same.

Forensic experts from Israel are in Ethiopia to assist in the search and digging to recover body parts and aircraft debris from the crash site.

By the start of February, Boeing had delivered 350 737 Max 8 jets to clients, and another order of 4,661 was still pending.

Aviation experts have exuded confidence the investigations this time will be swift compared to last year’s Lion Air accident, where investigative agencies were unable to recover the black box since the crash occurred off the coast of Indonesia.

There are mounting concerns surrounding the safety and security of this fleet, and in the industry in general, but Ethiopians and the rest of the world, are being asked to put things into perspective and come together during this period of mourning.



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