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Ground the Boeing 737 Max 8, members of Congress implore the FAA after deadly crash  6 Days ago

Source:   USA Today  

WASHINGTON – Members of Congress implored the Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8 following a deadly crash in Africa that prompted European authorities to suspend their flights in Europe.

Senators Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., and Mitt Romney, R-Utah, called for an immediate cessation of flights until investigators can determine the cause the crash on Sunday and another in Indonesia. Warren noted that six countries have already ordered the plane grounded.

"The FAA should follow their lead, reverse their decision, and immediately ground this plane in the United States until its safety can be assured," Warren said in a statement. 

The FAA on Tuesday stood by its statement that the plane is airworthy. There are 74 Boeing 737 Max 8s registered to fly in the United States, according to the FAA.

"If we identify an issue that affects safety, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action," the statement said. 

The European Aviation Safety Agency suspended operations for the Boeing Max 737 models 8 and 9 in Europe on Tuesday as a "precautionary measure."

Boeing, in a statement Tuesday, restated its “full confidence in the safety of the MAX” following the decision by the United Kingdom to ground the aircraft. 

“It is also important to note that the Federal Aviation Administration is not mandating any further action at this time, and based on the information currently available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators,” Boeing concluded in its statement.

Romney called on the FAA to ground the plane out of an "abundance of caution for the flying public."

Blumenthal, Monday evening, called for the plane to be grounded to protect travelers, pilots and flight attendants. 

Feinstein joined Blumenthal Monday in beseeching the FAA to take action. 

“Until the cause of the crash is known and it’s clear that similar risks aren’t present in the domestic fleet, I believe all Boeing 737 Max 8 series aircraft operating in the United States should be temporarily grounded,” Feinstein wrote to the FAA. 

Warren, a candidate for president, said the planes should be grounded immediately and called for Congress to hold hearings.

"The world has now witnessed the second tragic crash of one of these planes in less than six months," Warren said. "While we do not know the causes of these crashes, serious questions have been raised about whether these planes were pressed into service without additional pilot training in order to save money."

The Senate's committee with oversight of aviation does not issue statements on accidents while investigations are underway, said Commerce Committee spokeswoman Brianna Manzelli.



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