US Grounds All Boeing 737 Max Planes


13 March, 2019

American President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the United States would ground all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 planes "effective immediately."

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (or FAA) said in a statement that it "made the decision as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today."

The agency added, "This evidence, together with newly refined satellite data available to FAA this morning, led to this decision."

The emergency order came after two crashes involving Boeing 737 Max 8 jets in recent months. The latest happened on Sunday, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed in clear weather six minutes after takeoff from Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. All 157 people on board died.

Last October, Indonesia's Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the ocean 13 minutes after taking off from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. All 189 people on board died.

By Wednesday, nearly 40 countries had already barred Boeing 737 Max planes from flying in their airspace. The FAA had faced criticism for permitting the jets to continue flying in the United States.

An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8, on a flight from Miami to New York City, comes in for landing at LaGuardia Airport in New York, U.S., March 12, 2019. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)
An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8, on a flight from Miami to New York City, comes in for landing at LaGuardia Airport in New York, U.S., March 12, 2019. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

Trump said that "new information" had been found during the ongoing investigation into Sunday's accident. He said the decision to ground the aircraft "didn't have to be made, but we thought it was the right decision."

Trump added that the decision was made with the help of U.S. air carriers, aircraft manufacturer Boeing and Canadian aviation officials. Canada announced it was grounding the Boeing 737 Max planes earlier in the day.

In a statement, the U.S.-based Boeing Company said it "continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 Max." The company said it decided to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of all Boeing 737 Max planes "out of an abundance of caution."

The FAA says there are 74 such planes registered in the U.S. and 387 around the world.

The U.S.- based Southwest Airlines operates 34 Boeing 737 Max planes. The airline said as a result of the order, it has removed those planes from service.

I'm Ashley Thompson.

Ashley Thompson wrote this story for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.

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Words in This Story

analyze - v. to study (something) closely and carefully : to learn the nature and relationship of the parts of (something) by a close and careful examination

aircraft - n. a machine (such as an airplane or a helicopter) that flies through the air

refined - adj. improved to be more precise or exact

confidence - n. a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something

abundance - n. a large amount of something