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CLARA MOSCHINI

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Ethiopian plane accident: Australia and Singapore also ground the B-737 MAX

Is it a necessary decision or unnecessary alarmism?

Despite the fact that the causes of the accident of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing B-737 MAX 8 aircraft are not known yet as the investigations began yesterday and still the data recorded by the two black boxes have not been analyzed. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has asked to the US company to modify the software regarding the management system of the Angle of Attack which allows the automatic anti-stall system to enter. This is the number 1 suspect for the accident that caused the death of 157 people and that is added to that of October 30 of Lion Air, where 189 perished, caused precisely by this malfunction. To a preventive extent, however, Boeing has announced that it will begin to update the software of the entire B-737 MAX fleet and will update the pilot training manual, despite the fact that after the October accident it had issued a bulletin (together at the FAA) where it was explained how to deal with a similar situation.

Meanwhile, the Chinese, Ethiopian, Indonesian and Cayman Islands aviation authority yesterday ground all the B-737 MAXs, in a decision that followed the identical one of Royal Air Maroc. This morning, however, the bodies of Australia and Singapore have decided to suspend all flight activities carried out with the new-generation Boeing twin-engine aircraft, asking airlines to perform extraordinary maintenance to verify that there are no potential malfunctions in the sensors of the wing attack angle. In India it was imposed that only a crew consisting of a pilot with more than 1000 flight hours and a co-pilot with at least 500 hours can operate with a B-737 MAX, even if each flight must be preceded by a test on potentially defective systems; a decision that "forced" the carrier in financial difficulty Jet Airways to ground its 5 B-737 MAX fleet, so as to avoid an additional economic outlay.

In Europe and the United States, instead, it was decided to continue to make the B-737 MAX usable both because the companies that have them in the fleet meet the requirements set by the bulletin issued in November by Boeing and the FAA, both for create unnecessary alarmism among passengers. At least until there is progress in the investigation, no drastic measures will be taken because flight safety is guaranteed with the current standards.

M/A - 1219710

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