Ireland and Germany ban Boeing 737 MAX 8 from airspace – Italy expected to ground them

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Ireland and Germany has announced that it is banning the flights by the BOEING 737 MAX 8 from its airspace.

The two countries becomes the latest to do so after last Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash.

Earlier, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has banned Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft from the country’s airspace.

Malaysia,  Singapore, China and Australia, earlier on announced a ban Boeing 737 Max aircraft from flying to and from the country.

The Italian Civil Aviation Authority ENAC is set to stop flights with the Boeing 737 Max-8 aeroplane from 21:00 on Tuesday, sources said.

Earlier it was made known that third of the 371 Boeing 737 MAX jets in operation have been grounded. The vast majority of them, 97, fly with Chinese airlines. China is currently the aircraft’s biggest customer. US airlines are number two with 72 aircraft in service.

Meanwhile the  US Federal Aviation Administration has ordered Boeing to make changes to its 737 Max 8. However, it said the new airliner was still safe to fly in the United States.

Earlier Boeing has promised to release software updates for all of its Boeing 737 Max aircraft by next month at the latest. The updates were developed in the aftermath of the Lion Air Flight 610 disaster that killed 189 people, the company said, and include changes to flight control systems, pilot displays, operation manuals and crew training. 

Boeing’s 737 Max-8 aircraft was involved in both the Lion Air crash and recent Ethiopian Air disaster, in which 157 people lost their lives. However, Boeing’s software update will apparently be issued for all 737 Max aircraft. Southwest Airlines flies 34 737 Max-8 planes, American Airlines operates 24, and United Airlines has 14 Max-9s in its fleet.

Both investigations are still in the early stages, but experts are concerned about the similarities in the accidents. “It’s highly suspicious,” aviation analyst Mary Schiavo told CNN. “Here we have a brand-new aircraft that’s gone down twice in a year. That rings alarm bells in the aviation industry, because that just doesn’t happen. The similarities with Lion Air are too great not to be concerned.”

In the Lion Air crash, pilots reportedly had trouble with a new feature, added to account for the 737 Max’s larger engines, called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). It may have engaged erroneously, pushing the nose down and causing the plane to go into a dive. The pilots apparently fought the controls, but were unable to counter the problem.

Via RTE/DW/CNN/

 

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