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Ethiopian Airlines crash – a second new Boeing 737 falters after take off

The Thaiger

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Ethiopian Airlines crash – a second new Boeing 737 falters after take off | The Thaiger

PHOTO: A brand new Boeing 737 Max 800 for Ethiopian Airlines

All 157 people on board the Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa that crashed yesterday morning have died, the airline has confirmed.

The airline said in a statement… “We hereby confirm that our scheduled flight ET 302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi was involved in accident today.”

The plane is reported to have been first flown by Ethiopian Airlines last November. On its website the airline only listed one 737 Max 800 in its fleet.

This becomes the second time in less than six months, an identical, brand new Boeing aircraft crashed just minutes into a flight – either a tragic co-incidence or a statistical concern for operators of the new Boeing 737 MAX 800 aircraft.

Regionally in Asia, many of the budget airlines fly the new 737 MAX 800 series aircraft including VietJet, Lion Air, Garuda, Silk Air, Korean Air, Nok Air, Malaysia Airlines and a raft of the newer Chinese airlines.

Yesterday’s Ethiopian Airlines tragedy follows the Lion Air flight that went down over the Java Sea off Jakarta in late October 2018, killing all 189 people on board.

The Thaiger report about that crash HERE.

At this stage there is already speculation as to what caused the latest disaster as the business of recovery of body parts and plane wreckage continues. And there is no evidence that the two incidents are linked.

But both flights took place on the new 737 MAX 800 aircraft, a new Boeing model that saw its first flight less than two years ago.

The new 737 models, whilst sharing the same ‘737’ name as the popular short haul jet launched in the 1960s, are a vastly different plane in technology, materials and efficiency, including all the latest avionics, warning systems and fuel-saving engines.

Mary Schiavo, a CNN aviation analyst and the former Inspector General of the U.S. Transportation Department, says that two crashes, both in the minutes following take off, and in a brand new plane, is “highly suspicious”.

“Here we have a brand-new aircraft that’s gone down twice in a year. That rings alarm bells in the aviation industry, because that just doesn’t happen,” she told CNN.

The Lion Air flight went down 13 minutes after take off, while yesterday’s Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed just 6 minutes into its flight.

It is also known at this stage that the Ethiopian Airlines did dip and then regain altitude before it crashed, just like the Lion Air flight.

“The similarities with the Lion Air incident are too great not to be a concern,” Schiavo said.

At the root of October’s Lion Air crash was a new safety system installed in the MAX 8 plane, known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, that automatically forces the plane ‘nose down’ if data suggests it is at risk.

In the Lion Air flight, the system was responding to faulty data (according to the flight data recorded and investigator reports) that suggested the nose was tilted at a higher angle than it was, indicating the plane was at risk of stalling.

For the Lion Air pilots it ended as futile tug-of-war with the plane’s automatic systems, trying to reverse a nosedive that should not be triggered so soon after takeoff. Boeing has argued strongly, and publicly, that pilots should have identified the system was in operation, and turned it off.

In the case of the Ethiopian Airlines flight it is likely we will get information from the flight recorders in a matter of days or weeks. That the crash occurred over land will make the retrieval of this vital information much easier. The two ‘black box’ recorders (which are actually orange) record all the flight data from systems around the aircraft, and the actual conversations and radio chatter in the cockpit.

Ethiopian Airlines has had a high safety record in the past whilst there have been industry concerns surrounding Lion Air for a long time.

If investigators are able uncover a similar cause of the two accidents the repercussions for Boeing, and other airlines flying the new Max 800 aircraft, could be dramatic.

CNN aviation analyst Schiavo says, “The MAX 8 could be grounded if a link is found, either by the company itself, or by governments, though the former is more likely to come first. The voluntary basis is always the better way to go, but it will be expensive for Boeing.”

SOURCES: The Thaiger | CNN.com



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Election

Some election results out by 8pm Sunday night

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Some election results out by 8pm Sunday night | The Thaiger

More than 92,000 polling stations will be operating this Sunday for the national poll to elect a new Government. Seven million new voters, eligible since the last poll in 2011, will make a new impact on the election results making predictions more complex than in the past.

Election results will start dribbling out of smaller polling booths just an hour after voting in this Sunday’s national election.

Voting will close at 5pm on Sunday, according to the Election Commission.

The EC secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma says results can be expected in less than an hour from smaller polling stations, adding that unofficial results from at least 95 per cent of the polling stations should be ready by 8pm on Sunday.

These results will reveal the number of constituency seats won by each party, but figures on party-list seats will not be released until after the EC has officially endorsed the election results, Jarungvith added.

“The agency will not do the calculations to find out the number of party-list MPs on Sunday. Also, numbers may change, especially if by-elections are required or if ballots need to be recounted in some areas. We can only reveal the results once we have endorsed the votes,” he said.

A private group led by rights watchdog iLaw have launched the vote62.com website to serve as a platform for updates on election results and as a means to prevent fraud during the counting of ballots.

Those participating in ballot counting can take photographs of the counting board and post the pictures on the website, while those keeping track of the vote-count on TV or online platforms can enter tallies or upload photos on the website.

The group said the results displayed on the website will later be compared by the official results released by the EC to ensure transparency.

Meanwhile the Health Department is issuing tips advising voters to get at least six hours sleep before casting their vote.

Voters are being urged to wear light clothes because the temperature on Sunday is expected to rise up to 40C in central and northern parts of the country and up to 35 or 36 in southern areas.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Hot News

800 million baht of drugs seized in three recent busts

The Thaiger & The Nation

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800 million baht of drugs seized in three recent busts | The Thaiger

by Jessada Chantharak

Police have seized a total of eight million methamphetamine pills, 2,070 grams of crystal methamphetamine and 1,546 grams of cocaine with an estimated street value of 800 million baht from three recent drug busts.

Four suspects were arrested and a fifth was killed during arrest.

The report from the national police deputy commissioner Pol General Chalermkiat Srivorakan.

In the first case, police arrested three hill tribe men aged between 23-27

27 year old Boonsong Wusueku was killed in a gunfight with police during the arrests.

Eight million meth pills, three pick-up trucks, a pistol and five cell phones were seized in the March 16 bust in Chiang Rai province.

The three men had been charged with having illicit drugs in their possession with intent to sell.

In the second case police and customs officials arrested 47 year old Bamba Adama, from Ivory Coast, who allegedly smuggled 1,546 grams of cocaine in his stomach at the Suvarnabhumi Airport.

He has been charged with smuggling cocaine into Thailand and possessing cocaine with intent to sell.

In the third case, a 28 year old Thai man, Anucha Krinwongsa from Nan, was arrested on March 19 with 2,070 grams of crystal methamphetamine at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

His arrests followed a tip-off a day earlier about a batch of drugs to be smuggled out of the country via the airport.

Anucha was apprehended after officers found the “ice” hidden in his luggage. He was charged with drug possession with intent to sell and attempting to smuggle drugs out of the country.

800 million baht of drugs seized in three recent busts | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Election

Foreign Affairs denies attempts to extradite Thaksin from Hong Kong

The Thaiger

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Foreign Affairs denies attempts to extradite Thaksin from Hong Kong | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The happy couple and ‘dad’, in HK for tomorrow’s wedding

The director of the foreign affairs department of the public prosecutor’s office in Thailand says media reports that the Thai officials are trying to extradite former PM and fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra in Hong Kong, are wrong.

Daily News reports that Chatchachom Akkhapin says there was no truth in stories of efforts to extradite Thaksin from Hong Kong.

Thaksin is in Hong Kong from tomorrow (Friday) to attend the wedding of his youngest daughter Paetongtarn “Ing” Shinawatra to a commercial pilot.

Chatchachom says no contact had been made with Hong Kong authorities but he concedes that, even  though Thailand and Hong Kong have no formal extradition treaty, it would still be possible to request the return of a wanted fugitive if the evidence presented was sufficient.

In the first instance he says they would need to ascertain the address of Thaksin in Hong Kong and the public prosecutor’s office don’t know where Thaksin is staying.

The denial follows a post on “Thaksinlive” on Instagram earlier this week that indicated Thaksin would be in Hong Kong for “Ing’s” wedding on March 22.

Read The Thaiger’s report, that the Department has now denied, HERE.

SOURCE: Daily News

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