Ethiopia has decided to seek help from European air-safety experts to examine black boxes from a crashed Boeing Co. plane in a move that signals distrust in U.S. authorities.The exact organization that will receive the data and voice recorders has yet to be determined, though Ethiopian Airlines, which operated the Boeing 737 Max, said Wednesday that a European body will be approached.
Flight authorities around the globe have grounded the Max jet in the wake of the African tragedy and its similarities with an October crash in Indonesia. That’s left the United States virtually alone in its decision to continue flying the 737 Max, which the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has insisted that the plane is safe to fly. The choice to not seek help from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is a strategic decision for the Ethiopian government and the government-owned aircraft carrier, the Ethiopian Airlines public relations director Asrat Begashaw said.
Neither the U.K.'s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) nor the French BEA say they have received a request for help, though a spokesman for the AAIB said that they would consider assisting if asked. Whoever analyzes the boxes, Ethiopian Airlines and other relevant parties would attend to ensure that proper procedures are followed.