Manitoba

Friends of Ethiopian Airlines crash victim relieved planes have been grounded

Friends of one of the Ethiopian Airlines crash victims say politicians did the right thing in banning Boeing's 737 Max 8 aircraft from Canadian and American airspace. Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau and U.S. President Donald Trump grounded the planes Wednesday amid growing safety concerns.

Canada, U.S. ban Boeing 737 Max 8 from airspace following fatal crashes

Colby Deighton, left, his brother Kellen and sister-in-law Lexi started a Twitter account demanding the grounding of Boeing's 737 Max 8. Colby was the former boyfriend of Danielle Moore, one of the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines crash last weekend. (Karen Pauls/CBC News)

Friends of one of the Ethiopian Airlines crash victims say politicians did the right thing in banning Boeing's 737 Max 8 aircraft from Canadian and American airspace.

"I'm relieved," said Colby Deighton, the former boyfriend of Danielle Moore, one of 18 Canadians killed in last weekend's Ethiopian Airlines crash.

"This is an issue of public safety," added his brother, Kellen Deighton.

Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau and U.S. President Donald Trump grounded the planes Wednesday, as safety concerns grow following two deadly crashes. Canada and the U.S. had been some of the last holdouts.

Kellen started a Twitter account this week to put pressure on governments and airlines to ground the jets.

It's all he could do after hearing Moore had been killed in the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

"I saw my brother and I didn't really know what I could do emotionally other than kind of sit with him, but I want to do something practical, you know, and the most practical thing I could do was start blasting social media," he said.

Moore was an environmental and human rights activist on her way to the UN Environment Assembly in Kenya.

She would always hit the ground running, and she had the amazing ability to just start taking on the problem.- Colby  Deighton on Danielle Moore, who died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash

Colby described her as full of light and passion, and while he's still full of grief, there is some comfort knowing her spirit is alive and inspiring her friends and family to advocate for changes that will save lives.

"She would always hit the ground running, and she had the amazing ability to just start taking on the problem — something as simple as just sending emails, filling out applications, getting involved, showing up, just being there," he said.

Colby Deighton remembers the day the crash happened:

Colby Deighton describes his former girlfriend Danielle Moore, who died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash. 1:03

"I have been very happy to see that people have been channeling her or her energy and her memory."

The brothers hope Boeing will do what it takes to ensure the aircraft are safe before they're allowed back in the skies.

Colby Deighton and Danielle Moore in happier times. Deighton says she had great potential to change the world and her death is a tremendous loss. (Submitted by Colby Deighton)

The company makes part of the 737 Max 8 in Winnipeg and it's unclear whether the groundings will affect the supply line.

The company says it's investigating software issues and supports the decision to temporarily ground the planes.

"On behalf of the entire Boeing team, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in these two tragic accidents," said Dennis Muilenburg, president, CEO and chairman of The Boeing Company.

"We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution. Safety is a core value at Boeing for as long as we have been building airplanes; and it always will be," he said.

"We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again."

University of Manitoba transportation expert Barry Prentice says he understands the decision to ban the 737 Max 8 jets from Canadian airspace but believes the odds of another crash are slim. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC News)

Catching a flight at Richardson International Airport on a different type of plane, Barry Prentice, professor of supply chain management at the University of Manitoba, says he understands Garneau's decision to ban the jets from Canadian airspace.

"The political risk to him is very high if there is an accident," Prentice said, while adding the odds of another incident are slim.

"It's not impossible for something to go wrong, but we have to also remember there's still a pilot on board. He can switch off all those electronics and actually fly the airplane.

"So if that's the cause of the problem, it's not like there isn't a real backup system — which is the human being in the seat."

Prentice believes any damage to Boeing's reputation is likely temporary.

"There are very competent people behind them. It's not like its a structural failure, wings or an engine falling off."

Canada grounded all of its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft and banned the jet from entering its airspace until further notice as safety concerns continue to mount following two deadly crashes. 1:54

With files from Cameron MacIntosh and Brett Purdy

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