March 12, 2019 There is growing speculation on what caused a Boeing 737 MAX 8 to fall out of the sky Sunday morning—but no evidence yet. Boeing’s 737 jets have an outstanding safety record, and human error, random malfunction or terrorism have not been ruled out. Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash is being called a “global disaster” after a list of 157 passengers and crew revealed victims of 35 ethnicities. Eight Americans were killed, including U.S. Army Captian Antoine Lewis, 40, of Matteson, Illinois.
What is known is that two Being 737 MAX 8 jets crashed in less than four months, killing over 300 passengers and crew. A brand new Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight went down over the Java Sea last October, killing 189 people.
Safety experts caution against drawing too many comparisons between the two crashes until more is known about Sunday’s disaster. Two black boxes from Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 have been recovered, which will enable investigators to learn more about the cause of the crash. Ethiopian Airlines CEO, GebreMariam said Ethiopia’s Ministry of Transport will work with the United States, where Boeing is based, to find a place to examine that data. Ethiopia does not nave the necessary equipment to perform those tasks on its own, he added.
Several countries have grounded all flights, including China, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia and Ethiopia. The European Union announced on Tuesday afternoon all operations of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in Europe are being suspended beginning at 3 p.m. ET, according to a statement.
In the United States, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and several others are still flying the 737’s with no plans to ground them.
According to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) there are approximately 350 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in operation worldwide, being flown by 54 operators.
The FAA says in a statement that it will issue an international notification regarding the Boeing 737 MAX in the wake of the crash in Ethiopia crash. The agency says it will “take immediate and appropriate action” if it identifies a safety issue.”
The pilots of Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines flight told air traffic control they were having “flight control problems” before the crash, airline CEO Tewolde GebreMariam told CNN’s Richard Quest Tuesday. Full investigations into an aviation disaster can take years, but the first indications of what the data and voice recorders reveal will emerge in the next few days.
A U.S. Department of State travel alert reversal for Americans traveling in Ethiopia just hours before the fatal crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 is raising eyebrows. The update reversed a warning to Americans from traveling into or out of Addis Abba Bole airport on Sunday, March 10.
The original U.S. State Department safety alert, issued on Friday read:
“U.S. Government travelers have been advised not to arrive or depart Bole International Airport on Sunday, March 10, and U.S. Embassy personnel are also temporarily prohibited from traveling to Oromia.”
The update issued just hours before the fatal crash gave an “all clear” for travel to and from the airport.
“U.S. Government travelers may arrive or depart from Bole International Airport on Sunday, March 10.”
Check back for details in the investigation into Sunday’s deadly Ethiopian Airlines Flight EA302 Crash.