The last 737 MAX 8 aircraft flying anywhere worldwide are grounded as the United States’ FAA says there is evidence of a link.
The United States’ Federal Aviation Administration says it has found similarities between Sunday’s crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX and the Lion Air disaster in Indonesia.
It is this evidence that has led the agency to ground all flights of the aircraft type in the USA, the last country in the world to do so.
In its emergency order, the FAA says that new information “indicates some similarities” between the two crashes that “warrant further investigation of the possibility of a shared cause that needs to be better understood and addressed”, CNN reports.
President Donald Trump weighed in, confirming that the United States would ground all Boeing 737 MAX planes immediately.
“Pilots have been notified, airlines have been all notified. Airlines are agreeing with this. The safety of the American people and all people is our paramount concern,” Trump said at the White House.
US carriers that fly the controversial aircraft type, including Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines, have cancelled their MAX flights, redeploying larger planes and rebooking affected passengers.
The flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders from Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 are being sent to Paris today for examination.
The FAA elaborates in its emergency order that there is “new information from the wreckage concerning the aircraft’s configuration just after takeoff that, taken together with newly refined data from satellite-based tracking of the aircraft’s flight path, indicates some similarities” with the Lion Air crash.
However, because the two air disasters are still under investigation there is still no concrete evidence they had a common cause. The FAA had released a safety warning about the MAX aircraft type last November following the Lion Air accident.
Canada’s minister of transport, Marc Garneau, also alluded to the new satellite tracking data, saying that the vertical profile of the aircraft was the reason his country had decided to ground the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 over its airspace.