Caribbean Airlines reassures public amid concerns over Boeing Max 8 planes

Clay Curtis
March 15, 2019

There have been heightened concerns following Sunday's crash of the Ethiopian Airlines' Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft which resulted in deaths of 157 people.

Investigators have found the cockpit voice recorder and digital flight data recorder but it will be a while before the findings are made public.

On Wednesday, Ethiopian's CEO hinted in an interview that the black box was due to be taken to Europe for analysis given that Ethiopia lacked that expertise.

The Boeing 737 Max has been the fastest-selling aircraft in Boeing's history, with more than 4,500 ordered by 100 different operators globally.

Boeing chief Dennis Muilenburg said he supported the U.S. decision "out of an abundance of caution" but had "full confidence" in the safety of the plane.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order grounding the planes Wednesday.

"We ask for understanding as we work to rebook all guests affected as quickly as possible", WestJet says in a statement.

Caribbean Airlines has moved to further address concerns about the planned use of the Boeing 737 MAX-8 aircraft.

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In two anonymous reports on flights just after the Lion Air disaster, pilots disconnected the autopilot and corrected the plane's trajectory.

Boeing has confirmed that, for the past few months, it has been developing a "flight control software enhancement" for the aircraft, but says it is confident they are safe to fly.

If the aircrafts' maneuvering characteristics augmentation system receives an erroneously high angle-of-attack sensor input, there is potential for repeated nose-down commands of the horizontal stabilizer, the FAA said, adding the condition would made it hard for pilots to control the plane.

The Ethiopian Airlines pilots reported similar difficulties before their aircraft plunged to the ground as they tried to return to the airport. The decision to send the recorders to France was seen as a rebuke to the United States, which held out longer than most other countries in grounding the jets. But if the crash was caused by pilot error, then the problem could be corrected by training, and the grounding could be short, Goelz said.

And the BEA said yes.

US, home of Boeing - the world's largest aircraft maker, was one of the last countries where the plane model was still allowed to operate.

In Addis Ababa, about 200 angry family members of crash victims left a briefing with Ethiopian Airlines officials, saying that the carrier has not given them adequate information.

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