Early Sunday morning an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX crashed shortly after takeoff, making it the second 737 MAX to crash during the initial phase of flight in the past several months (a Lion Air 737 MAX crashed after takeoff last October).
As I addressed in a follow-up post, at this point a lot of people are concerned about the 737 MAX, as there are a lot more questions than answers. We don’t know for sure if there’s anything actually wrong with the plane, or if there’s anything wrong with the way pilots are trained to fly the plane. And if either of those are the case, we don’t know what exactly the problem is.
With about 350 737 MAX planes flying nowadays, there’s talk about the possibility of the planes being grounded until investigators figure out what’s happening. After all, the last thing anyone would want to see is a tragedy like this again.
It goes without saying that the impact of this on some airlines’ operations would be massive, since a grounding could potentially last for a very long time. At the same time, no matter what the implications are, it seems like erring on the side of caution might be a good idea.
Well, it looks like the first authorities are taking steps towards grounding the aircraft type.
Caijing is reporting that the Civil Aviation Administration of China has grounded the Boeing 737 MAX. It’s reported that all domestic Chinese airlines have been asked to cease operations with the plane, and as of now no 737 MAX planes are flying in China.
As of now there are nearly 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in the fleets of Chinese airlines, including for Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, Hainan Airlines, Shandong Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, and Xiamen Air.
It will be interesting to see if other airlines and aviation authorities follow China’s lead…
(Tip of the hat to @ShopSmart247)