… and US pilots report their problems whilst flying the 737 Max 8 model aircraft.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand says it is suspending the use of the Boeing Co’s 737 MAX 9 due to safety concerns.
The regulator said it will temporarily suspend the use of Thai Lion Air’s Boeing 737 MAX 9s for seven days, starting tomorrow and will continue to investigate safety measures. Thai Lion Air’s three MAX 9 jets will be affected.
The MAX 9s are almost identical to the MAX 8 model Boeing 737 except that it has three additional rows of seats but shares all the same parts, avionics, cockpit and systems.
Its parent company, Lion Air, has confirmed reports it has put on hold the scheduled delivery of four Boeing 737 Max 8 jets while it waits for the outcome of the Indonesian investigation into the October crash off Jakarta that killed 189 people.
Lion Air executive Daniel Putut said the airline needs to know the “root cause” of the accident.
Lion Air ordered 222 Boeing Max planes, including 218 of the Max 8 model and four Max 9 planes. It currently has 10 Max 8 planes in its fleet.
Thailand is the last country in Asia where the jets are registered to issue a suspension, following the fatal crash of a MAX 8 737 in Ethiopia on Sunday.
Thai airlines do not operate the MAX 8 model.
Meanwhile, at least two pilots who flew Boeing 737 Max 8 planes on routes in the US say they raised concerns last November about the noses of their planes suddenly dipping after engaging autopilot, according to a federal government database of incident reports.
The problems the pilots experienced appeared similar to those preceding the October crash of Lion Air Flight 610 in Indonesia, in which 189 people were killed.
In both of the American cases, the pilots safely resumed their climbs after turning off autopilot. One of the pilots said the descent began two to three seconds after turning on the automated system, according to the New York Times.
“I reviewed in my mind our automation setup and flight profile but can’t think of any reason the aircraft would pitch nose down so aggressively,” the pilot wrote.
A pilot on a separate flight reported in November a similar descent and hearing the same warnings in the cockpit, and said neither of the pilots on board was able to find an inappropriate setup.
Another pilot wrote of having been given insufficient training to fly the Max 8, a new, more fuel-efficient version of Boeing’s best-selling 737.
The black boxes, recording the cockpit conversations and all electronic and mechanical systems of the doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight on Sunday, are now being prepared to be sent to either London or the US for urgent examination.
Preliminary data suggests ‘similarities’ to Lion Air incident – Ethiopian Airlines crash
PHOTO: The ‘black box’ data recorder arrived in Paris last week
Preliminary data analysis from the black boxes of last week’s Ethiopian Airlines plane crash has revealed “similarities” to last October’s Lion Air incident.
Ethiopian Minister of Transport, Dagmawit Moges, says that investigators recovered all relevant data from the data recorders on board the fateful final flight of the Boeing 737 MAX jet.
He did not provide additional details about the alleged “similarities” between the two crashes saying they were “subject to additional investigation. The black box recorders are being evaluated in France after the Ethiopian aviation authorities said they didn’t have the facilities to analyze the data. The recovered recorders were sent to Paris last Thursday.
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed on March 10, just six minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 people on board. It mimics characteristics of the other Boeing 737 MAX crash six months ago in Jakarta where the pilot and crew reported problems with the flight controls before plummeting to the ground (or the sea in the case of the Jakarta crash).
Similarities between the two incidents, both of which remain under investigation, led aviation authorities around the world to ban the 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 model aircraft.
Investigators suspect the Lion Air crash may have been caused by a combination of software, pilot education of new flight systems (introduced by Boeing), and a faulty angle-of-attack sensor on the outside of the plane that could have transmitted incorrect data.
Boeing’s new Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, special software designed for the new MAX model jets, may have been responsible for forcing the plane’s nose down, over0riding the pilot’s corrections.
The Boeing Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg issued a statement saying the company “continues to support the investigation, and is working with the authorities to evaluate new information as it becomes available.”
He added the company is “finalising its development of a previously announced software update that will address the MCAS flight control law’s behavior in response to erroneous sensor inputs.
Boeing may apply for special permits to flight-test modifications of newly assembled 737 MAX aircraft in U.S. airspace during the worldwide commercial-flight ban of all 737 MAX-family jets.
Accused Australian killer appears in Christchurch court charged with murder
A 28 year old Australian man smirked as he walked into the Christchurch District Court in New Zealand’s South Island this morning, charged with murder after a carefully planned mass shooting at lunchtime prayers at two mosques.
The public was banned from the courtroom for the proceedings, but an angry crowd waited outside the court building.
Brenton Tarrant was brought to court by armed prison officers into the heavily secured central city courtroom, packed with local and international journalists.
According to reporters, the man kept turning towards the media and ‘smiling’. They report the man was ‘eerily calm’ during his appearance.
He has initially appeared on one charge of murder but is expected to face further charges. In New Zealand a murder charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Press from all over the world gathered in the courtroom, but the general public was banned.
Meanwhile, 18 year old Daniel John Burrough of Christchurch has been charged with intent to excite hostility or ill will against any group of persons on the ground of the colour, race or ethnic or national origins.
The alleged mass slaughter of Muslim worshippers at Friday prayers at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques, in central Christchurch, left 49 dead and more than 20 injured.
41 people died at Al Noor Mosque, seven at the Linwood Mosque and another died after being rushed to hospital.
UPDATE: Christchurch massacre – The mind of an alleged mass murderer
The gunman who Facebook live-streamed himself shooting his way into the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch also posted a political manifesto addressing his reasons for the attack. In his manifesto he described himself as “just a regular White man”.
At this stage 49 people have died after a gunman opened fire at two mosques in the South Island city of Christchurch.
Police have now taken a total of three people into custody after the gunman shot at Muslims in the mosque during prayer time around lunchtime today, New Zealand time.
Armed police headed to the Al Noor mosque on Deans Ave, where shooting broke out at 1.40pm today. The city’s schools and hospital were on lock-down. A short time later, shots were fired at another mosque in Linwood Avenue.
41 people were shot dead at the Deans Ave mosque, seven were killed at the Linwood Ave attack. One person shot in the second mosque attack and later died in hospital.
The man is identified as “Brenton Tarrant”, an Australian citizen. He live-streamed his deadly rampage giving police, and viewers, a horrific view of the entire attack.
The 28 year old told how he was born “to a working class, low-income family, who decided to take a stand to ensure a future for my people”.
He will appear in a Christchurch court tomorrow morning charged with murder.
New South Wales counter-terrorism police in Australia are now investigating after the revelation that he is from Grafton (a town in NSW) . The man also said he wanted to “directly reduce immigration rates to European lands”.
Australian PM Scott Morrison confirmed that the man taken into custody is an Australian-born citizen.
Brenton Tarrant was a student at the local high school and went on to work at a gym, where his former boss said he regularly volunteered his time to train kids for free.
In April 2010, his father died of cancer aged 49. This lead to Tarrant setting off on a seven-year trip world trip.
It was at some stage in this journey that some friends believe he was “perhaps radicalised”.
Tarrant has also revealed he had been planning an attack for up to two years, saying he decided on Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island, three months ago.
“An attack in New Zealand would bring to attention the truth of the assault on our civilisation, that nowhere in the world was safe, the invaders were in all of our lands, even in the remotest areas of the world and that there was nowhere left to go that was safe and free from mass immigration.”
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