BACKLASH AGAINST FAA AND BOEING INTENSIFIES AS ETHIOPIA OPTS FOR EUROPEAN HELP
(Posted 14th March 2019)
In a sign of growing distrust towards American aviation authorities but also towards Boeing has Ethiopia decided to send the two black boxes of flight ET302 to France instead of the United States.
Clearly wary of the potential buddy buddyship between the FAA and Boeing – as seen over the past week – did Ethiopian authorities opt not to hand the cockpit voice recorder and the aircraft’s data recorder to the NTSB, short for National Transportation Safety Board but send the two devices to a French company.
Aviation pundits have suggested that this move was to prevent any potential improprieties in the data recovery process and interpretation of the data harvested from the two devices and make certain that all relevant data are presented to the Ethiopian air accident investigation team.
‘The United States’ FAA and Boeing brought this on themselves with their initial response to the accident and their refusal to ground the aircraft. It is obvious that Boeing has been frantically working to create a fix for a software problem which became apparent after the Lion Air crash in October last year. However, as the accident of ET302 shows, the fix was not available and will not be for some time. It is better under such circumstances to ground an aircraft and err on the side of caution and in the interest of passenger safety instead of taking a gamble, a gamble I hasten to add which went terribly wrong. Yes, it is too early, in the absence of the black box data, to be sure of what happened to the flight but available data so far indicate that the similarities to the Lion Air crash are very compelling. Let’s wait and see what the black boxes reveal and then resume our conversation‘ said a regular air accident investigator from Kenya on condition of anonymity for not being a spokes person of his organization.
All Boeing B737MAX models in service are presently grounded, very likely until May this year so that the software updates can be installed and fully tested before this aircraft type receives a clean bill of health and can again be certified as air worthy.
As mentioned earlier have also indications emerged that airlines with B737MAX orders on their books are taking a careful look and keeping a watch on the unfolding air accident investigation in order to determine if they prefer to stick to their orders or else seek alternatives, from either Boeing or another manufacturer.