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Local leaders question President Trump’s Boeing 737 MAX 8 & 9 ground stop

SEATTLE – The FAA released a statement Wednesday afternoon standing behind President Donald Trump’s decision to ground all Boeing 737 MAX 8 & 9 jets.  FAA cites new evidence collected at the scene and satellite data.

While the world is talking about the ground stop, there’s still an active investigation to determine what happened with the latest crash and if it’s the same problem that caused the Lion Air crash in October.

Forensic evidence still litters the Ethiopian Airlines crash site, but airline leaders say the black boxes with vital info will be sent to Europe and not to the US with the NTSB and Boeing.  That’s something Aviation Analyst John Nance called ‘scandalous’ during a Skype interview.

“It doesn’t say good things about the trust level of the United States when Ethiopia turns down the most advanced lab in the world to handle the debriefing these American made black boxes,” said Aviation Analyst John Nance.

Now the attention is turning to what we do have.  Canadian authorities and the FAA both point to new evidence and satellite data.  Former Boeing Engineer for safety Todd Curtis explains what that could mean.

FAA STATMENT.JPG

“There’s a system that has broadcast information from flight that gives you position, altitude, and airspace and such. Using the patterns from that there could be a way to say well are these 737 patterns consistent with what a 737 should be doing at those phases of flight,” said Former Boeing Engineer for safety Todd Curtis.

All of that led to a big announcement by President Trump.

“All of those planes are grounded, effective immediately," he said.

It’s something Curtis saw coming.

“They just want to make sure there’s nothing hidden here that could put people at risk,” said Curtis.

But Senator John McCoy who represents the 38th District that includes Boeing, told us by phone the president’s order undermines the experts.

“We have a lot of armchair quarterbacks that are second guessing everybody.  I’m under the mind that… let the FAA and Boeing get the job done,” said McCoy.

Nance calls the order a ‘knee-jerk’ decision that only adds to the hysteria.

“There is no justification for grounding this airplane because basically we’re talking about a training issue,” said Nance.

BOEING STATEMENT 2.JPG

But because of the many lives lost, Boeing’s president, CEO and Chairman Dennis Muilenburg vows to enact change in a statement reading, in part:

“We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.”

Nance says the only way he would support a ground stop is after we’re able to review the data from the black boxes. He says if it shows a flight control issue consistent with other planes or crashes, then he would support the ground stop. Right now, he says we really need the data from the black boxes.  In typical cases, we would’ve had a preliminary report in 48 hours.

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