26th May 08:57 PM
Boeing 737 Max 8 is airworthy - US Federal Aviation Administration
By Vijay Narayan
Tuesday 12/03/2019
157 passengers on board killed as Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes minutes after takeoff [Photo: Supplied]

As talk continues on the second Boeing 737 Max 8 crashing yesterday, the US Federal Aviation Administration has told airlines it believes Boeing's 737 Max 8 model to be airworthy.

An Ethiopian Airlines plane en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi crashed six minutes after take‑off, killing all 157 people on board. The incident followed Lion Air 737 Max 8 crash in October that killed 189.

CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Tewolde Gebremariam, looks at the wreckage of the plane that crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia [Photo: MPR News]

Some in the international aviation community have called for the aircraft to be grounded pending a full investigation.

But the Federal Aviation Administration issued a "continued airworthiness notification" saying the plane is safe to fly.

The BBC reports that China, Indonesia, and Ethiopia ordered their airlines to ground the jet. Other airlines including Fiji Airways are flying the 737 Max 8 after Boeing said it was safe.

For the Ethiopia crash, visibility was said to be good but air traffic monitor Flightradar24 reported that the plane's "vertical speed was unstable after take‑off".

Boeing says it is "deeply saddened" by the crash and was sending a team to provide technical assistance.

Following the Lion Air crash, investigators said the pilots had appeared to struggle with an automated system designed to keep the plane from stalling, a new feature of the jet.

Lion Airline

The BBC says preliminary findings suggested the anti‑stall system repeatedly forced the plane's nose down, despite efforts by pilots to correct this. The Lion Air plane was also new and the accident happened soon after take‑off.

After last October's crash, Boeing sent an emergency notice to airlines warning them of a problem with the anti‑stall system.

Reuters had then reported that Boeing was expected to release a software patch to the system to deal with the issue.

It is not yet clear whether the anti‑stall system was the cause of Monday's crash. Aviation experts say other technical issues or human error cannot be discounted.

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