The circumstances are eerily similar. A new Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 jet crashed into the Java Sea in Indonesia last October, killing all 189 people on board. And earlier this month, a new Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed near Addis Ababa in Ethiopia with 157 people aboard. There were no survivors.
Both planes ran into trouble just after take-off as the pilots struggled to maintain control of the aircraft. Review of the black box data from the Indonesia crash revealed that an automatic safety system forced the 737’s nose down. The preliminary result of that investigation determined that a faulty sensor caused the plane’s software to believe that the aircraft was stalling and therefore compensated by pointing the nose down. There had been prior reports of sensor problems on the same aircraft. A final investigation report is due later this year.
At this time, data from the Ethiopian crash shows a similar erratic flight path with sharp ascent, descent, and then a final ascent before crashing. The pilot had radioed that he had difficulty maintaining control of the aircraft and was attempting to return to the airport. The black box for this flight has been recovered and the investigation is ongoing.
U.S. Joins 42 Countries in Grounding This Aircraft Model
So far, 43 countries including the U.S. have removed the Boeing 737 Max 8 from service pending resolution of safety issues. In addition to the U.S., the European Union, Canada, China, India and Egypt, among others, are participating in the ban. The prohibition in Europe alone accounts for two-thirds of the world’s 737 Max 8 planes.
At the time of this writing and according to a New York Times article, Boeing has “full confidence” in the aircraft. Boeing CEO Dennis A. Muilenburg reinforced this message in a personal call to President Trump. However, the President has taken a precautionary step to prohibit the Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 planes from flying in U.S. air space. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is playing a major part in the investigations.
Aviation accidents, whether disasters on a large scale or incidents in small aircraft, are terrifying and traumatic and can result in devastating injuries and death. Let us know if you have been harmed in an aircraft accident – you may be eligible for compensation if negligence was involved in the crash.
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