Senator Calls for Grounding 737 MAX In Wake of Second Accident in Less Than Five Months

Senator Richard Blumenthal called for the grounding of the 737 MAX fleet yesterday. In a statement he said: “The crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 was the second devastating and alarming tragedy involving Boeing’s new 737 MAX 8 planes in less than five months. These two catastrophic accidents – both claiming the lives of all on board – call into serious question the safety of these airplanes.The FAA and the airline industry must act quickly and decisively to protect American travelers, pilots, and flight attendants. These planes must be grounded immediately, and airlines should work expeditiously to minimize disruption and accommodate customers whose travel is impacted.”

The U. S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not gone so far yet as to ground the Boeing 737 MAX 8 in the U. S. But it is recommending future mandate of a software enhancement to the aircraft no later than next month, in response to last fall’s Lion Air crash.

As is routine in any accident investigation, the manufacturer, Boeing, has sent a technical team to the crash site to provide technical expertise to the investigators. Additionally, Boeing said in a statement they are developing an “enhancement to the flight control software for the 737 MAX.”

“For the past several months, and in the aftermath of Lion Air Flight 610, Boeing has been developing a flight control software enhancement for the 737 MAX, designed to make an already safe aircraft even safer,” Boeing said. “Boeing has been working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on development, planning and certification of the software enhancement, and it will be deployed across the 737 MAX fleet in the coming weeks.”

Aeromexico and The Singaporean aviation authority joined several other worldwide operators and aviation authorities in grounding their Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes.

An FAA statement said their team is on-site with the NTSB for the investigation of the accident. “We are collecting data and keeping in contact with international civil aviation authorities as information becomes available. Today, the FAA will issue a Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC) for Boeing 737 MAX operators. The FAA continuously assesses and oversees the safety performance of U.S. commercial aircraft. If we identify an issue that affects safety, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action,” the FAA statement said.