Two fatal crashes in a short span of six months has raised serious doubts about the safety of Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes, and the European Aviation and Safety Administration has decided to ground the planes as Boeing has announced that it was taking additional steps to address an issue that may have contributed to the crash, according to a report by TechCrunch.
The latest crash took place on Sunday when the Boeing 737 Max 8 airplane run by the Ethiopian Airlines crashed minutes after the take-off, killing all 157 on board and this crash has raised some serious doubts about the airliner.
In a swift response to the growing security concerns, the European Union has banned the plane from operating in the European airspace. The statement reads:
“Following the tragic accident of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 involving a Boeing 737 MAX 8, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is taking every step necessary to ensure the safety of passengers. As a precautionary measure, EASA has published today an Airworthiness Directive, effective as of 19:00 UTC, suspending all flight operations of all Boeing Model 737-8 MAX and 737-9 MAX airplanes in Europe.”
Meanwhile, Boeing has issued a statement which says that the company is developing an upgrade following the Lion Air crash. As per Boeing, “This includes updates to the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System flight control law, pilot displays, operation manuals, and crew training.” Boeing expects the update to be completed across its fleet by April.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Flying Magazine columnist and small-plane pilot Peter Garrison said that the fears about the Boeing may be misplaced.
“People like to talk about this as the airplane is defective and they’re correcting it with software,” he says. “That’s all nonsense. Planes today are a mix of automatic systems—and by automatic, I mean digital electronic systems and mechanical ones—and the natural aerodynamics of the airplane, and you can’t separate these,” he added.
Meanwhile, politicians across party lines are asking the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to follow other countries and take the planes out of the sky. FAA has been working round the clock and is collecting all the relevant data from the site of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash.
“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,” FAA noted.