Recent Developments

Speiser Krause in the News and Recent Developments

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Update on the Crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302

In the aftermath of the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, numerous aviation authorities throughout the world have called into question the safety of the 737 Max 8 model aircraft.  Although the Federal Aviation Administration and The Boeing Company have issued statements attesting to the aircraft’s safety, foreign aviation authorities are justifiably concerned that the crash of Ethiopian Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610 share a common causal connection.  As a result, various foreign countries, and airlines, have grounded the 737 Max 8 fleet until more information is known regarding the causes of each crash.  China, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, India and the European Union have each banned the 737 Max 8 aircraft from operating within its borders or airspace.  A copy of the Emergency Airworthiness Directive issued by the European Union prohibiting the 737 Max 8 aircraft from operating in Europe can be found here.  In fact, the only two governments continuing to allow the aircraft to operate within their borders or airspace are the United States and Canada.

In the U.S., however, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut), Diane Feinstein (California), Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts) and Mitt Romney (Utah) have implored the Federal Aviation Administration to issue an order grounding the 737 Max 8 fleet until the causes of each crash are identified and understood.  Such an action only makes common sense until it is assured that the aircraft does not suffer from fatal design flaws.  Congressional criticism is not alone.  US Consumer Advocacy groups, such as Consumer Reports, and the national flight attendants’ union have also called upon the two US-based operators who utilize the aircraft, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, to voluntarily discontinue all flights on the Max 8 until more is known concerning these crashes regardless of whether the FAA requires such action. 

In addition, Ethiopian crash investigators have stated that the aircraft’s black boxes will be sent overseas for download and analysis.  As mentioned in our prior post, the information learned from the Digital Flight Data Recorder and the Cockpit Voice Recorder will provide critical insight into the cause of this tragedy.  We are closely monitoring the progress of the investigation.  

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