Father of Exmouth plane crash victim Joanna Toole welcomes worldwide move to ground Boeing planes
PUBLISHED: 17:01 14 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:25 14 March 2019
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
The father of an Exmouth woman who died when a Boeing 737 plane crashed in Ethiopia says he is ‘pleased’ to hear more than 40 countries have grounded the aircraft.
Adrian Toole, whose daughter Joanna died in the devastating crash last week, told the Journal that his family do not want any other families to ‘go through what we are going through’.
Joanna, a United Nations worker, was one of 157 passengers and crew members who died when a Boeing 747 Max 8, operated by Ethiopian Airlines, hit the ground on Sunday (March 10).
The plane crashed just six minutes after takeoff from the country’s capital Addis Ababa.
Flight data recorders from the doomed plane have since arrived in France for analysis.
Sunday’s crash was the second fatal flight for a Boeing 737 Max 8 in less than six months.
More than 40 countries, including the US and Britain, have now grounded the planes or refused to let them into their airspace.
A growing number of relatives of the passengers have visited the crash site, near the town of Hejere - about 31 miles from Addis Ababa.
However, Mr Toole said no-one in his family wanted to take up the UN’s offer of a flight to Ethiopia.
“We did not see how it would do us any good,” he said.
After holding out for several days, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an emergency order grounding the planes on Wednesday, saying it had new satellite data and evidence that showed the movements of the Ethiopian Airlines plane were similar to those of Lion Air Flight 610.
That flight crashed into the Java Sea off Indonesia in October, killing 189 people.
Officials at Lion Air have said sensors on their plane produced erroneous information on its last four flights, triggering an automatic nose-down command that the pilots were unable to overcome on its final voyage.
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said its pilots had received special training on how to deal with that problem.
“In addition to the basic training given for 737 aircraft types, an additional training was given for the Max version,” he said.
“After the Lion Air crash, questions were raised, so Boeing sent further instructions that it said pilots should know.”
Boeing issued a statement saying it supported the FAA’s decision even though it “continues to have full confidence” in the plane’s safety.