Ethiopian Airlines Crash: These 3 African airlines use the Boeing 737-8 Max

2019-03-11 15:19 - Selene Brophy
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Boeing's newest plane, the 737 Max 8 jet, is under scrutiny for safety concerns following the fatal crash of the Ethiopian Airlines flight on Sunday

Ethiopian, Indonesia and China have all suspended its 8 Max fleets. China's Aviation Authority grounded all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes used by domestic airlines. Comair, operator of kulula and regional services for British Airways is however continuing to fly the model, after taking delivery of two of eight planes originally ordered in 2016.

READ: Ethiopian Boeing 737-8 Max crash: What is 'unstable vertical speed' 

Boeing has confirmed there are about 330 of the 737-8 Max planes in operation globally, with Comair and Air Mauritania being the only two African airlines, besides Ethiopian who have the Max.

Wrenelle Stander, Executive Director of Comair’s Airline Division says, "We cannot speculate on the causes of this accident, or the Lion Air accident in October 2018, which only a full investigation will resolve. Comair will continue to monitor the various investigations by the relevant authorities and are in close contact with both Boeing and the SACAA."

"Our highly trained and experienced flight crew and engineers remain vigilant. Safety remains our foremost priority and we will not compromise on the safety of our crew and our customers." 

SACAA looking at the facts 

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) says it is implementing precautionary measures by engaging all affected stakeholders.  

"The Regulator has made contact with both the local operator, and the manufacturer and is monitoring the situation and will not hesitate to take any preventative measures, but these will be based on facts and not speculations."

The SACAA says it will continue to monitor the situation and will decide if added measures are needed once more information becomes available.  

Black box found

While investigators have not determined the cause but have since found the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder.  

The incident is similar to the case of the Indonesian Lion Air flight, in which pilots wrestled with the plane's "faulty sensor and automatic feature sent its nose pointing down while the pilots struggled to lift the plane up".

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