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Poseidons, Clippers not impacted by Boeing 737 grounding, Navy says

A U.S. Navy P-8A taxis at Clark Air Base, the Philippines, on Feb. 3, 2019. The Navy said Thursday, March 14, 2019, that the aircraft, based on the Boeing 737, is not affected by the 737 Max grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration.

ALAN JOHNSON/U.S. NAVY

By SETH ROBSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 14, 2019

U.S. Navy aircraft based on Boeing 737 jetliner designs are not affected by the grounding of civilian planes, a Naval Air Forces spokesman said Thursday.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order Wednesday grounding 737 Max planes following a crash Sunday in Ethiopia that killed 157 people.

Navy P-8A Poseidons and C-40 Clippers are based on 737 designs that are different than the grounded aircraft, Naval Air Forces spokesman Lt. Travis Callaghan said in an email.

“The Navy’s P-8A Poseidon is not based on the 737-800MAX that is currently the focus of the recent civil aviation accidents, therefore any potential issues with that aircraft would not affect the P-8,” he said. “Additionally, it would not affect our fleet of C-40 Clippers, which are based on a different 737 model as well.”

The P-8A, an anti-submarine patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, is a version of the commercial 737-800 airliner that the Navy first deployed in December 2013 to replace the older P-3 Orion, according to Boeing’s website.

The FAA certified the 737 Max 8, the first in the Max series, for commercial service in March 2017, according to Boeing.

The C-40, which first deployed in 2001, supports the fleet with long-range airlift of cargo and passengers, according to Naval Air Systems Command.

The Navy showed off the Poseidon at airshows in India and Australia last month. A P-8A, assigned to Patrol Squadron 16, was scheduled to participate in anti-submarine drills with the Royal Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in the western Pacific, according to a Navy statement.

robson.seth@stripes.com
Twitter: @SethRobson1

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