Lebanon Closes Airspace to Boeing 737 MAX, Says Civil Aviation

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Earlier, the United States pilots already expressed their safety concerns about flying Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft as they complained that the jets' autopilot sometimes prompted them to nosedive and lose altitude. The pilot had also reported flight-control problems, an airline representative said Wednesday.

Boeing said it supports the grounding of its planes as a precautionary step, while reiterating its "full confidence" in the safety of the 737 Max.

Transport Canada's notice Wednesday morning, restricting commercial passenger flights from any operator of Boeing 737 Max 8s and 9s from arriving, departing or overflying Canadian airspace, follows the death of 157 people Sunday in an Ethiopian Airlines crash, among them 18 Canadians.

Air Canada has 24 Max 8 aircraft (out of 184 in its main fleet), which it uses mainly for domestic and USA routes, while Calgary-based WestJet Airlines Ltd. has 13 Max 8s (out of about 150 planes). Such an investigation could take months to complete, experts say.

Kenya Airways will consider switching to Airbus or could opt to take more of the older 737-800 version of the Boeing jet, which doesn't feature the suspect system, Chairman Michael Joseph said in an email, without ruling out sticking with the Max.

Sunwing Airlines announced late Tuesday night that it would temporarily be grounding its four MAX 8 planes in Canada. Two Israelis were killed in the crash, and members of an emergency response team from the country said they are frustrated because they have not been able to access the crash site.

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Department of Transportation study in the 1970s concluded that the practice only saves about one percent in the spring and fall . USA territories Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa do not conform to DST either.

How long the planes stay grounded depends largely on what investigators find on the cockpit voice and flight data recorders, said Peter Goelz, a former managing director for the National Transportation Safety Board. He said pilots have been given additional training and flight procedures on what they have to do if a similar situation occured.

"We make our own decisions in Canada and occasionally those decisions may be different from our colleagues south of the border", Garneau said. "Air Canada Component of CUPE always believes that the safety of passengers and crew must come first", said president Wesley Lesosky.

"There are lots of reasons why aircraft can run into difficulty", Garneau said.

And Turkish Airlines, one of the largest carriers in the world, said it was suspending use of its 12 MAX aircraft from Wednesday, until "uncertainty" was clarified.

The U.S.is increasingly alone in defending the American-made jets since the Federal Aviation Administration deemed the 737 Max to be "airworthy" earlier this week.

Low-priced airline Norwegian Air Shuttle, South Korea's Eastar Jet and South Africa's Comair also said they would halt flights.

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