With mounting political and public pressure, along with countries all over the world announcing that the Boeing 737 MAX 8 will be grounded until further notice following a second massive aviation disaster associated with the planes, the FAA and President Donald Trump’s administration have finally announced that the model plane will not be allowed into the air in the U.S.
On Wednesday, the FAA issued an “emergency order of prohibition” after its initial investigation into the Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 crash showed resemblance with the Lion Air crash into the Java Sea in October last year. According to the order, obtained in full by CNN, all Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 planes will be grounded effective immediately.
Planes of those models that were in the air at the time the order was issued were allowed to continue to their destination, but would not be permitted back into the air for any other scheduled flights once on the ground. The result is that some airlines have had to cancel flights across the country.
Both the accidents on Ethiopian Airlines and the Lion Air flight crashed just minutes after take-off from their respective destinations, with over 340 lives lost between the two disasters. At this stage, faulty safety equipment is believed to have been the cause of the two crashes.
The FAA identified similarities between the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight and the Lion Air crash in Indonesia, leading the agency to ground all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 planes https://t.co/DSO1XD6xVT pic.twitter.com/vtxxJv7gfj
— CNN (@CNN) March 14, 2019
Part of the emergency order issued by the FAA explains that “new information about Sunday’s crash indicates some similarities” between the two disasters that “warrant further investigation of the possibility of a shared cause that needs to be better understood and addressed.”
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Southwest Airlines boasts 34 Boeing 737 MAX 8’s in its fleet, with American Airlines owning a further 24. Although neither United nor Delta have any in their fleet, United does have a number of MAX 9’s in its fleet that will also be affected by this grounding order.
The order will last until definitive proof can be found that the accidents were not linked, or until evidence is provided that the error that caused the two crashes has been rectified to the satisfaction of the FAA. The organization has given no time limit for this to be done, meaning these planes could be out of commission for months or even years until an investigation is completed.
The U.S. is practically the last country to issue a grounding order, with many others having done so in the immediate wake of the accident at the beginning of the week.
Trump also issued a statement regarding the grounding of the planes, although bizarrely chose to praise Boeing while he made the announcement.