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Fliers outraged that Boeing jets haven’t been grounded in U.S.

Angry airline passengers flooded social media Monday, imploring the Federal Aviation Administration to ground Boeing 737 Max 8 jets in the United States and telling the aviation giant “blood is on your hands.”
Officials in China and Indonesia grounded Boeing’s Max 8 jets in the wake of Sunday’s crash in Ethiopia, which killed 157 people. In October, a crash of the same model plane in Indonesia killed 189 people.
Both planes went down shortly after takeoff, and exhibited erratic dives and climbs in altitude, according to early investigations.
“Evidently the lives of the people on US flights are not as important as those on Chinese flights,” Maycie S. Dagostino said on Twitter. “United States continues to fly like people aren’t dying. #FAA needs to do their —ing job.”
“Hold airlines accountable for trending mechanical issues!” and “Just ground them already,” others tweeted to the FAA.
Not ‘comfortable flying’
Britt Lake, chief program officer for Global Giving in Washington, D.C., had a public exchange with American Airlines that didn’t bring much relief.
“I do not feel comfortable flying your #737MAX for an upcoming AA flight on Thursday,” Lake tweeted. “Given what we know about their safety, how can we rebook to another flight/plane? Several countries/airlines have already grounded their #737MAX planes. Is @AmericanAir doing the same?”
American responded from its corporate account. “Safety is our number one priority,” it said. “We have full confidence in the aircraft and our crew members, who are the best in the industry.”
“American Airlines crew members are great (no dispute!),” Lake responded. “But I do not have full confidence in that aircraft.”
Southwest responded to a similar question from a customer, saying, “Please know that Southwest has operated approximately 31,000 flights utilizing the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, and our focus on the safety of our operation is constant and unwavering.”
Los Angeles musician Zachary Jaydon chimed in. “Perhaps you could explain this FAA document from last year, indicating that this aircraft has a faulty sensor design that could cause ‘possibly impact with terrain?’ ” he tweeted, along with a copy of the document.
The FAA’s Emergency Airworthiness Directive was issued Nov. 7 to owners and operators of Boeing Model 737-8 and 737-9 aircraft.
“This emergency AD was prompted by analysis performed by the manufacturer showing that if an erroneously high single angle of attack (AOA) sensor input is received by the flight control system, there is a potential for repeated nose-down trim commands of the horizontal stabilizer,” it says.
“This condition, if not addressed, could cause the flight crew to have difficulty controlling the airplane, and lead to excessive nose-down attitude, significant altitude loss, and possible impact with terrain,” it says.
Among the airlines that fly the 737 Max are American, Alaska, Southwest and AeroMexico. A full list of carriers is available on Boeing’s website.
Grounding planes ‘complicated’
Grounding planes is complicated, an aviation expert said Monday, and would require the FAA to conclude there is a pervasive, inherent design or manufacturing flaw.
For its part, the FAA said that it is “closely monitoring developments” in the Ethiopian crash, and is joining local authorities and the federal National Transportation Safety Board in their investigations.
“If through the investigation we identify an issue that affects safety, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action,” a spokesman said in a statement.
Boeing said it is deeply saddened by the crash, extends its heartfelt sympathies to the loved ones of those who died, “and stands ready” to provide technical assistance. The company did not respond to a request for comment on fliers’ calls to ground the planes.
Boeing has said that the Max family of planes “brings the latest technology to the most popular jet aircraft of all time, the 737. … Airlines are taking advantage of the Max’s incredible range and flexibility, offering passengers connections to smaller cities around the globe including transatlantic and trans-continental routes. The unmatched reliability of the Max means more 737 flights depart on time with fewer delays.”
Fliers can check with their airlines to see which planes they are scheduled to fly on. Flightaware.com also includes that information.
Jaydon, the Los Angeles musician, is urging fliers who want to avoid the 737 Max 8, and who have been charged change fees to switch to a different plane, to contact him “to hold these airlines accountable for the safety of their passengers.”
“Charging a rebooking fee for people RIGHTFULLY scared to fly on this aircraft is asinine, and highly suspect,” he tweeted
Another flier said simply: “The only thing left to do when the regulators don’t do their job: #noflyboeing.”

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