The public outcry reached the Whitehouse, where Trump, whose antenna for populist sentiment is uncanny, quickly entered the fray with a tweet, which he clearly didn’t write himself.
Claiming to order the FAA to ground the aircraft, the agency quickly acquiesced coming up with a battery of ‘evidence’ that covered its back, sufficiently to not seem like it had been steamrollered into a decision.
In the end the US was the only country that hadn’t ordered a grounding – a situation almost incomprehensible before this.
When one thinks back to the 787 and issues around it that resulted in rapid groundings, and not one person had even been hurt, yet the death of nearly 400 had almost no bearing on the FAA decision over the Max 8.
Let’s hope the iconoclasts in the FAA have learned a valuable lesson, along with Boeing.
On a day when the 777-9 was first due to be rolled out its amounted to a humiliating climb down for Boeing too. One wonders how their normally slick corporate PR people let this one get away from them.