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Trump Admin Decides to Ground Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 Airplanes

Trump Admin Decides to Ground Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 Airplanes

Decision comes after Canada decided to ground the planes.

After crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, numerous countries decided to ground Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 airplanes. America became the latest one after President Donald Trump announced he reversed his decision and listen to the FAA. From ABC News:

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he was ordering the grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes and related aircraft in the U.S., a decision that comes after days of mounting pressure from other countries that left the U.S. as one of the last to make the call after a deadly crash in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia will transport the “black boxes” from Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 to another country, an official announced Wednesday, a decision that will speed up a delay in the analysis of critical flight data that could help explain the second deadly crash of a Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane in just five months.

At the same time, Canada announced it, too, would ground the planes, leaving the U.S. the only major nation not to do so.

Ethiopian officials said the country doesn’t have the technology required to analyze the black boxes — the flight data and cockpit voice recorders — which hold key information on how and why the plane crashed on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board, ABC News Chief National Correspondent Matt Gutman reported from Ethiopia’s capital of Addis Ababa.

The Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority was expected to announce which country the recordings will be sent to soon, three days after Sunday’s crash.

A key question is whether the plane’s advanced flight management system — the autopilot — might have played a role in the most recent crash as it did in the fatal crash of an Indonesian Airlines 737 MAX 8 last October. In that crash, it appears the pilots failed to disengage the autopilot when the plane’s nose began pitching up and down, perhaps because they were unaware of how to do so.

In the aftermath of that crash, at least two U.S. pilots who have flown the Boeing 737 MAX 8 submitted anonymous reports to NASA, which has an aviation safety reporting system, saying their aircraft suddenly pointed its nose downward after they engaged in autopilot. The accounts were first reported by the Dallas Morning News and obtained by ABC News from NASA.

The pilots disengaged the autopilot, manually corrected the unexpected motion and continued to climb as planned. The flight continued uneventfully after that. It’s unclear from the reports if the pilots were both on the same flight or on two separate flights.

In a third report, a pilot reported feeling like the flight manual and training for the Boeing 737 MAX wasn’t sufficient.


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The system in question is the MCAS [Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System], not the autopilot. What it does is push the plane’s nose down if it gets into a stall situation (under certain circumstances). When activated, it pushes the nose down with no notification to the pilots that it has taken control. Boeing added this “safety enhancement” with no documentation or extra pilot training – basically in secret.

The MCAS system and the way it was implemented both sound dodgy to me, but, at this point, there are several other possible explanations for the crash. For example, I note that the first officer’s name was Mohammad and it was reported that he only had 200 hours total flying time. I say let’s wait until we find what the black boxes tell us.

[b]Disclaimer:[/b] I’m a private pilot but have no special knowledge of the B-737 Max other than what I read on various pilot forums.