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13 Mar, 2019 19:03

Canada grounds Boeing 737 MAX due to mystery ‘new data’ from crashes: What do we know so far?

Canada grounds Boeing 737 MAX due to mystery ‘new data’ from crashes: What do we know so far?

Canada has announced a nationwide ban on Boeing 737 MAX flights in its airspace, citing “new data” linking two deadly crashes. Info from the US federal database revealed pilots have long been complaining about the plane’s issues.

In a statement to the press, Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced that the “new data” influencing the decision came from “validated satellite tracking,” and that it suggested similarities between the two crashes involving the new Boeing jet. Although the data was sufficient to justify shutting down Canadian airspace to all flights involving the commercial jet, the minister stressed it was too soon to draw any conclusions.

“This safety notice restricts commercial passenger flights from any air operator, both domestic and foreign, of the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft from arriving, departing, or overflying Canadian airspace,” Garneau said.

Around 40 of the aircrafts were in use throughout various Canadian fleets, which has led to canceled and delayed flights across the country in the wake of the ban.

READ MORE: India bans all Boeing 737 MAX planes from entering its airspace

Earlier in the week, Garneau had suggested that grounding the jets would be a “premature” decision, taking a stance similar to the US’ FAA which has still not taken any action against the American-made aircraft. Garneau did not specify precisely what the new details revealed, but investigations into the US federal database show that pilots had already leveled serious complaints about the aircraft.

‘Nose-diving’ complaints

According to a CNN report, two American pilots reported that they had experienced issues after engaging the Max 8’s autopilot system, including the plane unexpectedly dipping into a nose-dive. The autopilot had to be disengaged for the rest of the flight.

Both the Ethiopian Airlines and the Lion Air pilots reported similar “flight-control problems” to air traffic control shortly after take-off, adding to suspicions that the problem is intrinsic to the aircraft.

Also on rt.com ‘Boeing in big trouble’ for not immediately grounding jets – aviation law expert tells RT

‘Criminally insufficient’ flight manual

Another report complained about the woeful inadequacy of the flight manual, describing it as “inadequate and almost criminally insufficient.” The same report said that it was “unconscionable” that pilots were being expected to fly the plane with insufficient training and limited information.

READ MORE: Europe bans Boeing 737 MAX: Planes grounded, diverted as nations shut airspace over Ethiopia crash

Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash left 157 people dead, and followed another crash involving the same airplane model just a few months earlier in Indonesia which killed 189. While the crashes raised widespread concerns about the aircraft’s autopilot function, Boeing has repeatedly stated that the vessel is safe and airworthy.

Also on rt.com Trump grounds troubled 737 MAX aircraft, Boeing stock tumbles

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