An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 passenger jet to Nairobi crashed early on Sunday (March 10th), killing all 149 passengers and eight crew members on board. The airlines made a statement on the following day that they had grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 fleet after the crash.
“Following the tragic accident of ET302... Ethiopian Airlines has decided to ground all B-737-8 Max fleet effective yesterday, March 10, until further notice,” the state-owned carrier said in a statement released on Twitter.
Separately, China grounded its entire domestic fleet of Boeing Co 737 Max 8 planes after the model crashed in Africa on Sunday, as scrutiny intensified on the United States manufacturer’s best-selling jet. China ordered its carriers to ground all 96 of their aircraft involving the model by 6 p.m. local time.
Elsewhere, Indonesia’s air safety regulator said it is discussing the possibility of grounding the Boeing planes and South Korea began a special inspection of the aircraft. Indonesian state airliner Garuda Indonesia meanwhile carried out additional inspections on its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.
“We continuously run (an) Extra Inspection Procedure on several systems that may possibly cause an accident,” said I. Gusti Ngurah Askhara Danadiputra, Garuda Indonesia president director, in a statement on Sunday, reported Tempo. Inspection of the airspeed and altitude system, flight control system, and stall management system revealed no faults and they were in good condition. The president director also stated that they have instantly coordinated the matter with the Transportation Ministry’s Airworthiness and Aircraft Operation Directorate (DKUPPU) for further prevention efforts.
Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 plunged to the ground minutes after leaving Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi, Kenya, killing all 157 people on board in what was the second deadly accident in five months involving the model.
The disaster in Ethiopia followed the crash of a Lion Air 737 Max 8 into the Java Sea off the coast of Indonesia on Oct 29. A preliminary report into that disaster, which killed 189 passengers and crew, indicated that pilots struggled to maintain control following an equipment malfunction. Indonesia’s transportation safety committee said on Monday that it will discuss the possibility of grounding Boeing 737 Max 8 jets operated by the nation’s airlines.
A Boeing representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Boeing earlier said it was preparing to send a technical team to assist the accident investigation of the Ethiopian Airlines plane, which was delivered new in November to Africa’s biggest carrier.
Source: The Straits Times