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FAA Holds Off on Grounding Boeing 737 Max Planes Citing 'No Systemic' Issues

© REUTERS / Jason RedmondA Boeing 737 MAX returns from a flight test at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington
A Boeing 737 MAX returns from a flight test at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington - Sputnik International
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Tuesday FAA that Boeing's 737 MAX passenger airliner "shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis" for grounding any of the beleaguered aircraft owned by US air carriers.

A Tuesday statement by Acting FAA Administrator Daniel K Elwell said the agency "continues to review extensively all available data and aggregate safety performance from operators and pilots of the Boeing 373 MAX."

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"Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft," the statement continues. "Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action. In the course of our urgent review of data on the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash, if any issues affecting the continued airworthiness of the aircraft are identified, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action."

Following the deadly crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 Sunday that killed 157 people, airlines and governments across the globe began grounding the 737 Max 8 aircraft. A similar problem had caused a similar crash by another 737 Max 8 last October, when Lion Air Flight 610 plunged into the Pacific Ocean shortly after departing Indonesia's Koekarno-Hatta Airport. Countries to ground their 737 Max 8 fleets include China, India, Indonesia, Singapore and the European Union, together amounting to two-thirds of the world's 737 Max 8 jets.

Only the US and Canada continue to use the passenger jets, with 58 in use by Southwest and American Airlines and 24 by Air Canada, according to the New York Times.

Over half a dozen US lawmakers have written to the FAA requesting Elwell ground the US fleet, including Senators Elizabeth Warren, Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz, Richard Blumenthal, Bob Menendez, and Dianne Feinstein.

The problems contributing to both crashes are believed to be changes made to the plane's flight control system from previous versions of Boeing's 737 fleet.

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