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U.S. grounds Boeing 737 Max airplanes

by Kiley Crossland
Posted 3/13/19, 04:54 pm

The United States issued an emergency order on Wednesday grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on Sunday that killed all 157 on board. President Donald Trump announced the order, citing “new information” that had come to light in the ongoing investigation into the incident. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) previously said it did not have any data to show the jets are unsafe.

The decision follows similar orders to ground the aircraft in other countries, including Australia, Britain, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, India, and Italy.

“All of those planes are grounded, effective immediately,” the president said during a scheduled briefing on border security. He said any airplane currently in the air would go to its destination and then be grounded. American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are the main users of the plane in the United States. “Boeing is an incredible company,” Trump said. “They are working very, very hard right now and hopefully they’ll quickly come up with an answer.”

The FAA said Wednesday that new, enhanced satellite tracking data and physical evidence on the ground that linked the Ethiopian jet’s movements to those of an Indonesian Lion Air flight that plunged into the Java Sea in October, killing 189 people. Officials at Lion Air have said sensors on their plane produced erroneous information on its last four flights, triggering an automatic nose-down command that the pilots were unable to overcome on its final voyage.

In a statement, Boeing said it “continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 Max” but added it had recommended to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 737 Max aircrafts “out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety.”

Editor’s Note: WORLD has updated this report to include the FAA’s reason for grounding the Boeing 737 Max planes.

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Kiley Crossland

Kiley is a former WORLD correspondent.

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