Sunday morning's crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, operated by a Boeing 737 MAX 8 (ET-AVJ), was the second loss of a 737 MAX. The accident occurred less than 22 months after the 737 MAX entered service and early indications suggest a remarkable similarity to the crash of Lion Air 610 last October. Whether this similarity is superficial or significant will be determined during the investigation, to be conducted by the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau with the assistance of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) were recovered on Monday and should soon provide more detail on what may have caused the accident, though a final report on the probable cause of the accident will likely take several years.
Despite thie ostensible similarity to the Lion Air crash, China, Indonesia, Mongolia, and Singapore have grounded 737 MAX aircraft under their registry. Singapore has also banned operation of the 737 MAX within Singaporean airspace. Seven airlines have voluntarily grounded their 737 MAX fleets: Ethiopian Airines, Cayman Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Aerolíneas Argentinas, South Africa's Comair, Brazil's GOL, and Aeroméxico.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has taken a more measured approach, issuing a Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC) which states, in part,
"External reports are drawing similarities between this accident and the Lion Air Flight 610 accident on October 29, 2018. However, this investigation has just begun and to date we have not been provided data to draw any conclusions or take any actions."
Today's Featured Map depicts routes frequently operated by the Boeing 737 MAX over the past few weeks:
Information on this site may not be accurate or current and is not valid for flight planning or navigation. No warranty of fitness for any purpose is made or implied. Flight planning and navigation should only be done using official charts.
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Karl L. Swartz.
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