FAA backs Boeing jet after Ethiopia crash
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 3/13/19, 11:29 am
Ethiopia will send the in-flight data recorder from Sunday’s deadly plane crash to an unidentified European country for analysis, an Ethiopian Airlines spokesman said Wednesday. Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) faces increasing criticism as the United States remains one of the few countries that hasn’t grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8, the plane that went down just minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board.
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg met with President Donald Trump on Tuesday to assure him of the company’s confidence in the jetliner. The FAA has also backed the jet and said it was reviewing all available data. “Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft,” acting FAA Administrator Daniel K. Elwell said in a statement.
But the rest of the world is much less confident. Canada, Egypt, Lebanon, Kosovo, the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, and India have joined the list of countries that have grounded the plane. Thailand ordered the budget airline Thai Air Lion to suspend flights of the Boeing 737 Max 8 for seven days. Hong Kong banned all operation of the plane “into, out of, and over” the aviation hub beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Norwegian Air Shuttles said it would seek compensation from Boeing after grounding its fleet of the planes, and Icelandair has temporarily suspended operations of the model, as well. Air Canada is allowing flight attendants who don’t want to fly on the plane to be reassigned, the company’s flight attendant union said.
U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said in a statement Tuesday that he’s concerned the United States is falling behind international aviation regulators in responding to the tragedy.
Editor’s note: WORLD updated this article to include Canada’s decision to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8.
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