US refuses to floor Boeing 737 MAX after crash

WASHINGTON 

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says there is “no basis” to ground Boeing 737 MAX planes after one such plane crashed over the weekend in Ethiopia, killing all 157 passengers on board.

While the aviation company has assured that the plane model is safe, India, China, Turkey and the UK have all grounded their Boeing 737 MAX planes to allow for an investigation, joining numerous nations following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302.

“The FAA continues to review extensively all available data and aggregate safety performance from operators and pilots of the Boeing 737 MAX. Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft,” it said in a statement Tuesday.

“Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action. In the course of our urgent review of data on the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash, if any issues affecting the continued airworthiness of the aircraft are identified, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action.”

Amid mounting pressure, Boeing said it will be rolling out air control software enhancements to make the plane safer. However, it also noted that per the FAA’s stance, they do not have any basis to offer any new guidance for operating the plane.

The Ethiopian Airlines crash marks the second time a Boeing 737 MAX plane has crashed in six months.

In addition to Sunday’s tragedy, a 737 MAX was also involved in an October crash outside of Jakarta, Indonesia. All 189 people on board Lion Air flight JT610 were killed.

Both crashes took place shortly after takeoff.

Following the latest air crash, U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter to complain that modern aircraft “are becoming far too complex to fly” and suggested “pilots are no longer needed”.

Trump did not directly refer to the tragedy but said advances in aircraft technology have necessitated increased complexity, which he said “creates danger”.

“I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Albert Einstein to be my pilot,” he said Tuesday. “I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!”

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