Indonesia temporarily grounds Boeing 737 MAX 8 after Ethiopia crash

Kyodo News

Posted at Mar 11 2019 10:05 PM

Airplane engine parts are seen at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on March 11, 2019. Tiksa Negeri, Reuters

Air Transportation Director General Polana Pramesti said in a press statement that the action was taken to guarantee air safety in Indonesia.

"One of the measures will be carrying out an inspection (of all Boeing 737 MAX 8)...to ensure that the planes of that type are airworthy," Pramesti said.

If any problems are found, the jets will be grounded until the problems are settled, she added.

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board, according to the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corp.

Indonesian citizen Harina Hafitz, an employee of the Rome-based World Food Program, was among those killed in the crash, the second fatal incident involving the aircraft type in just five months.

On Oct. 29, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 belonging to Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air crashed into the Java Sea 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board. The plane had been put into service only in August.

Pramesti also stressed that she is continuing to cooperate with the country's National Transportation Safety Committee, Boeing Co. and global aviation institutions to keep evaluating any matters related to Lion Air flight JT610.

Indonesia has 11 Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes, with 10 of them being operated by Lion Air and one by national carrier Garuda Indonesia.

A preliminary investigative report of the Lion Air crash released by the safety committee showed that shortly after takeoff, the plane's anti-stall mechanism was activated, apparently by incorrect sensor readings, forcing its nose down.