March 16, 2019 / 5:49 PM / 4 days ago

FACTBOX-What we know about Boeing 737 MAX crash and what comes next

 (Adds details on investigation)
    March 22 (Reuters) - More than 300 Boeing        737 MAX
jets have been grounded worldwide after two fatal crashes in the
past five months in Ethiopia and Indonesia killed nearly 350
people.             
    Investigators looking to uncover the causes must answer one
of the biggest questions: Was the plane's software to blame? 
    
    WHAT WE KNOW  
    - Boeing has stopped delivery of all new MAX jets. Its
shares have fallen 12 percent since the Ethiopian Airlines
crash, wiping $28 billion from its market value. 
    - Boeing maintains its new, fuel-efficient jets are safe,
but supported the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
decision to ground them.             
    - Europe and Canada said they would independently certify
the safety of the jets, further complicating plans to get the
aircraft flying.             
    - Boeing will mandate on MAX jets a previously optional
cockpit warning light, which might have warned of problems that
possibly played a role in the recent crashes of Ethiopian and
Indonesian planes, sources said.             
    - Indonesia's flag carrier Garuda           said on Friday
it sent a letter to Boeing asking to cancel an order for 49 MAX
8 aircraft, becoming the first airline to confirm plans to
cancel an order after the crashes.              
    - Investigators have found similarities in the 'angle of
attack' data from both flights. A piece of a stabilizer in the
wreckage of the Ethiopian jet with the trim set in an unusual
position was similar to that of the Lion Air plane, sources
said.                          
    - Investigators who verified data from the black box
recorders of the Ethiopian plane have found 'clear similarities'
with the doomed Lion Air flight, French air accident authority
BEA has also said.             
    - Experts believe a new flight control system, MCAS, on the
jets, designed to stop stalling by dipping the nose, may have
been a factor in both crashes, with pilots unable to override it
as their jets plunged after a faulty sensor indicated a stall.
But no conclusive evidence yet links the two accidents.
    - The pilot of the Ethiopian flight had reported internal
control problems and received permission to return. The pilot of
the Lion Air flight, which crashed on Oct. 29 with the loss of
all 189 aboard, had also asked to return soon after take-off
from Jakarta.
    - Investigators confirmed a Reuters report that the Lion Air
pilots scrambled through a handbook to understand why the jet
was lurching downwards in the final minutes before it hit the
water.             
   - Indonesia has advanced the date for the release of its
report on the Lion Air crash to between July and August, versus
a previous schedule of between August and September.
             
    - Boeing's commercial airplane division has brought in a new
vice president of engineering while dedicating another top
executive to the aircraft investigations, a company email
showed.             
         
    WHAT'S NEXT?
    - U.S. lawmakers said the planes could be grounded for weeks
to upgrade and install the software in every plane. Other
countries may ground the planes even longer.             
    - The U.S. Transportation Department's inspector general
plans to audit the FAA's certification of the jet, an official
with the office said this week. The office can recommend changes
or improvements to how the FAA operates.             
    - The U.S. Justice Department is also looking at the FAA's
oversight of Boeing, one of the people said. The FAA has said it
is "absolutely" confident in its vetting.
    - The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives
transportation committee and another key Democrat asked the
Transportation Department's inspector general to examine key
decisions the FAA made in certifying the MAX jet for use.
            
    - U.S. President Donald Trump will nominate former Delta Air
Lines executive Steve Dickson to head the FAA, the White House
said.             
    - Ethiopian Airlines said on March 16 that DNA testing of
the remains of the passengers may take up to six months.
             

    
 (Compiled by Ben Klayman, Sayantani Ghosh, Mark Potter and
Keith Weir; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Alexander Smith)
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