They are all grounded. A day later than most of the rest of the world, President Trump and the FAA ordered all Boeing 737 Max 8’s and 9’s to stop flying.
The planes are not big players at Tampa International Airport, accounting for less than 5% of flights.
But a few passengers on Southwest, WestJet and American, discovered their flights cancelled.
The grounding of the Boeing 737 jets is an about face for the FAA, which just 24 hours ago, insisted there was no basis for doing so.
Tim Pettitt is one of the last passengers to fly on a Max 8, but he didn’t even know it. “My wife and my son told me, they said, dad, you were on one of those planes, so, I’m glad I made it there” said Pettitt.
The sudden change of plans, came from the President. “Pilots have been notified. Airlines have been all notified. Airlines are agreeing with us. The safety of the American people and all people is out paramount concern” said President Trump.
At the same time, a statement came out from the FAA about the Ethiopian crash Sunday, saying the grounding comes as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today.
It pointed to newly refined satellite data available to the FAA.
Passengers are agreeing with the decision. “I think that’s a very good idea because they need to figure out what’s going on with the planes because it not only could happen with the Ethiopian airline but it can happen to other airlines” said Laursena James.
The FAA wants to know if the Lion Air crash, 5 months ago, and the Ethiopian crash, are related. Both were 737 max 8’s
Crucial to the investigation, are the so-called “black boxes.”They will tell investigators about the engines, flight controls, and what the pilots said.
Southwest is encouraging passengers to re-book themselves to avoid wait times on the phones.