Boeing in spotlight after Ethiopia crash

(NBC News) – Federal agents with National Transportation Safety Board and inspectors from Boeing have traveled to Ethiopia to aid in the investigation into Sunday’s deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash.

As investigators sift through the wreckage, there are growing questions about the overall safety of Boeing’s 737 Max-8 jetliners.

The Ethiopian Airlines crash, just after takeoff, closely mirrors a fatal accident just five months ago in Indonesia.

A preliminary investigation into that crash showed onboard sensors may have sent false data to the plane’s computers as the crew struggled to keep the jet in the air, fighting a new automated anti-stall system that Boeing apparently never told pilots about.

Safety teams have not determined a cause for the crash in the latest tragedy.

Officials in China aren’t waiting for answers. They’ve ordered all local carriers to ground close to 100 737 Max-8 jets.

So have Indonesia, Ethiopia and The Cayman Islands.

Others believe all of the Max-8 jets should be pulled from service.

“Boeing aircraft company ought to voluntarily, itself, ground these aircraft, because of the similarities between these two accidents,” says former National Transportation Board chairman Jim Hall.

Boeing responded with a written statement that says in part “The investigation is in its early stages, but at this point, based on the information available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators.”

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