The Federal Aviation Administration today, March 13, issued an order grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft, citing new evidence that there were some similarities between the two fatal Max 8 crashes, occurring in late October and this past Sunday, that together killed 346 people.
The FAA’s’ statement:
“The FAA is ordering the temporary grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft operated by U.S. airlines or in U.S. territory. The agency made this decision as a result of the data-gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today. This evidence, together with newly refined satellite data available to FAA this morning, led to this decision.
“The grounding will remain in effect pending further investigation, including examination of information from the aircraft’s flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders. An FAA team is in Ethiopia assisting the NTSB as parties to the investigation of the Flight 302 accident. The agency will continue to investigate.”
In relation to the FAA action, Boeing issued the following statement:
“Boeing continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 Max. However, after consultation with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and aviation authorities and its customers around the world, Boeing has determined ― out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety ― to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 Max aircraft.”
“… Boeing makes this recommendation and supports the decision by the FAA.”
Seattle Business magazine reported March 12 that the FAA had not yet grounded the Boeing aircraft, despite mounting international and congressional pressure.