FAA says Boeing 737 Max 8, the plane that's crashed twice in 5 months, is still safe to fly

The US’s top air-safety regulator has said the plane model involved in Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash, the second such disaster in five months, is safe to fly.

The Federal Administration said in a Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC) on Monday evening that Ethiopian’s crash, which killed all 157 passengers on board, cannot yet be linked to that Lion Air flight 610, which plunged into the Java Sea 12 minutes after takeoff in October.

“External reports are drawing similarities between this accident and the Lion Air Flight 610 accident on October 29, 2018,” the agency said. “However, this investigation has just begun and to date we have not been provided data to draw any conclusions or take any actions.”

Still, the similarities caused several air carriers and country air-travel regulators, to ground their fleets of 737 MAX 8’s pending further investigation.

US-based carriers notably did not pull the planes from service, with many saying their aircraft are inspected regularly for readiness and safety.

Boeing said in a statement that a technical team would be travelling to the Ethiopian crash site to provide technical assistance in the investigation under the direction of Ethiopian authorities and the US National Transportation Safety Board.

“We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board, and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team,” the company said.

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