Getty Images

Boeing pauses deliveries of 737 MAX aircraft to customers following FAA grounding

March 14, 2019 - 4:40 pm
Categories: 

NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) --- Boeing announced on Thursday afternoon that it has paused deliveries of 737 MAX jetliners to customers after the FAA's decision yesterday to ground the aircraft, Reuters reported

Boeing adds that it assessing how production will be impacted by pause in deliveries, including capacity constraints at facility.

Initially the FAA didn't ground the aircraft but it said what made the difference was new, enhanced satellite tracking data and physical evidence on the ground that linked the Ethiopian jet's movements to those of an Indonesian Lion Air flight that plunged into the Java Sea in October and killed 189 people.

"That evidence aligns the Ethiopian flight closer to Lion Air, what we know happened to Lion Air," said Daniel Elwell, acting FAA administrator.

Officials at Lion Air have said sensors on their plane produced erroneous information on its last four flights, triggering an automatic nose-down command that the pilots were unable to overcome on its final voyage.

The FAA was under intense pressure to ground the planes and resisted even after Canada on Wednesday joined more than 40 countries, including the European Union and China, in barring the Max from the air, leaving the U.S. almost alone.

The agency, which prides itself on making data-driven decisions, had maintained there was nothing to show the Boeing jets were unsafe, and flights continued.

But President Donald Trump, who announced the grounding, was briefed Wednesday on new developments by Elwell and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, and they determined the planes should be grounded, the White House said. Trump spoke afterward with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg and Boeing signed on.

"At the end of the day, it is a decision that has the full support of the secretary, the president and the FAA as an agency," Elwell said.

Like 1010 WINS on Facebook and follow @1010WINS on Twitter to get breaking news, traffic, and weather for New York City.