Canada not grounding Boeing 737 after Ethiopian Airlines crash

Canada isn’t ready to ground any of its Boeing 737 Max 8 planes in the wake of the fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all 157 on board, including 18 Canadians, over the weekend.

Transport Canada said it’s taking “all the necessary actions to ensure the safety of our skies.”

“The process of certification of the Boeing 737 Max [8] aircraft was led by American authorities,” a spokesperson for Transport Minister Marc Garneau said in an email to CBC News. “Transport Canada officials are working with their American counterparts in order to assess next steps.”

“The United States National Transportation Safety Board is gathering all the available information and a team was sent on site. Any decision taken will be based on science and in order to maintain the highest levels of safety.”

Garneau is expected to address the crash during a media availability at 2:45 p.m. ET. will carry it live.

Ethiopian Airlines and all Chinese airlines have grounded their Boeing 737 Max 8 planes indefinitely in the wake of the crash, which occurred shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, en route to Nairobi. 

Indonesia grounded 11 of the aircraft for inspections, said Polana B. Pramesti, the country’s director general of air transportation. Caribbean carrier Cayman Airways also said it was temporarily grounding the two Boeing 737 Max 8s it operates.

Airlines confident 

However, Canada’s two largest airlines say they are confident in the safety of the aircraft.

Air Canada said its 24 Max 8 aircraft have performed “excellently” and met safety and reliability standards.

Calgary-based WestJet said it is “working with Boeing to ensure the continued safe operation of our Max fleet,” which includes 13 Max 8s.

“We have flown five different variants of the Boeing 737 since 1996, and the fleet currently operates around 450 safe daily B737 departures,” WestJet spokesperson Morgan Bell said in a statement. “We are monitoring the situation closely and will not speculate on the cause of the incident.”

The Air Canada Pilots Association, the union for Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge pilots, sent out a statement urging Transport Canada “to take proactive action to ensure the safety of the Canadian travelling public.”

Ethiopian Airlines said Monday that investigators have recovered the plane’s flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder and were trying to determine the cause of the deadly crash involving a new aircraft model touted for its environmentally friendly engine.

It was not clear what caused the plane to go down in clear weather, but the pilot sent out a distress call and was given clearance to return, the airline’s CEO said on Sunday.

Rescuers work Monday at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash near Bishoftu, south of Addis Ababa. All 157 people aboard were killed. (Mulugeta Ayene/Associated Press)

People from 35 countries died in the crash. Among the 18 Canadians killed were a Carleton University professor and a mother-daughter pair from Edmonton.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent condolences via Twitter to the families of those lost in the crash, as did Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Question around the Max 8

The crash is likely to renew questions about the 737 Max 8, the newest version of Boeing’s popular single-aisle airliner, which was first introduced in 1967 and has become the world’s most common passenger jet.

The accident was strikingly similar to the crash of a Lion Air jet of the same Boeing model in Indonesian seas in October, which killed 189 people.

Indonesian investigators have not determined a cause for that crash, but days after the accident, Boeing sent a notice to airlines saying that faulty information from a sensor could cause the plane to automatically point the nose down. The notice reminded pilots of the procedure for handling such a situation.

The Lion Air cockpit data recorder showed the jet’s airspeed indicator had malfunctioned on its last four flights, though the airline initially said problems with the aircraft had been fixed before it left the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.

Safety experts cautioned against drawing too many comparisons between the two crashes until more is known about Sunday’s disaster.

The Ethiopian plane was new, delivered to the airline in November. The jet’s last maintenance was on Feb. 4 and it had flown just 1,200 hours.

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Originally posted 2019-03-11 13:42:57. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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