The black box from the Ethiopian Airlines crash is being sent to France instead of the US - a sharp break with precedent that could be seen as a deliberate snub
- The black boxes from the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed on Sunday have been sent to France for analysis.
- The decision not to send them to the US could be seen as a snub, as the plane was manufactured by Boeing, an American company.
- Ethiopian Airlines' public relations director said that the choice to send the data recorders to Europe and not to the US was a decision for the airline and the Ethiopian government.
- The US hesitated to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8 planes and stated they were safe, even as the European Union and other countries banned them from their airspaces.
Ethiopia sent the black boxes from the crashed Ethiopian Airlines plane to France in a bid to understand what happened to the plane, in what could be seen as a snub to the US.
An official from BEA, the French air accident authority, told the Associated Press on Thursday morning that the flight data recorder and the cockpit vote recorder had arrived in France for analysis. They said they could not give a timeframe for how long it might take their investigation to find out why the brand-new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft crashed into the ground, killing 159 people, shortly after takeoff.
Asrat Begashaw, Ethiopian Airlines' public relations director, said the choice to send the data recorders to Europe and not to the US was a decision for the airline and the Ethiopian government, Bloomberg reported.
Bloomberg reported that the decision is "a sign U.S. authorities aren't trusted to determine the cause of the disaster after ruling that the model is safe to fly."
According to BEA's website, the last time the authority investigated an incident involving a Boeing 737 plane was in 2013. It investigated an incident involving a Boeing 777 in 2017.
The AP reported: "The BEA has experience with global air crashes, and its expertise is often sought whenever an Airbus plane crashes because the manufacturer is based in France."
According to Reuters, US and Ethiopian aviation safety officials discussed on Tuesday whether the data recorders "would go to would go to Washington or London for download and analysis."
The decision is unusual, as France and other European countries typically deal with investigations into incidents involving European plane manufacturers, such as Airbus.
The US grounded the planes on Wednesday. Ethiopia announced that it would send the flight recorders to Europe as the US Federal Aviation Administration continued to express confidence in the plane, even as countries around the world and the European Union banned the planes from their airspaces.
Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 crashed minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa Bole on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board the four-month-old plane.
It was the second Boeing 737 Max 8 airliner involved in a fatal crash in five months. In October 2018, Lion Air Flight JT610 crashed in the Java Sea shortly after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board.
Investigations into the Lion Air crash are still ongoing, but Boeing announced on Tuesday that it will update the software on the 737 Max that may cause the plane's nose to turn down.
The Federal Aviation Administration said in its decision to ground the planes that similarities between the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes "warrant further investigation of the possibility of a shared cause for the two incidents that needs to be better understood and addressed."
More on Boeing's 737 Max 8 and the Ethiopian Airlines crash:
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