A Boeing 737 Max 8 jet crashed in Ethiopia killing all of its passengers aboard during an Ethiopian Airlines flight heading to Nairobi, Kenya from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Reports confirmed that all 157 people on board died after the plane crashed minutes after the
Flight ET302 used a new Boeing 737 Max 8 jet and just got off the runway when it reported the plane was having technical difficulties and requested to turn back. After erratic flight behavior, communication was cut and crashed.
The plane reportedly had at least 35 different nationalities aboard, including 22 employees of United Nations-affiliated agencies set to attend a conference on the environment in Nairobi on Monday.
Ethiopian Airlines released the list of casualties, which included passengers from China, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Israel, India and Somalia, Kenya, and Canada.
Ethiopian Airlines are said to be one of the country’s safest airline companies and is their largest carrier in terms of passengers.
Boeing’s Second Crash Within 6 Months
This incident is the second crash involving a Boeing 737 Max 8 jet, one of their most popular and recent models, after the Lion Air crash over the Java Sea from Jakarta, Indonesia last October.
The crash took the lives of everyone on board, a total of 189 people.
The 737 Max 8 jet is Boeing’s counter product after Airbus announced that it would introduce a more fuel-efficient version of its best-selling A320 in 2010. This resulted in a hurried attempt to rival Airbus.
Boeing, in a rush, told the industry that the new 737 Max 8 jets feature low-fuel consumption capabilities but would operate just like previous models that airline companies already have in possession.
Boeing pushed its new engine design and told the Federal Aviation Administration that the new model would fly safely and function as the existing model that 737 pilots, and would not have to undergo costly retraining.
However, Boeing failed to emphasize that the new engine design involved a technical software coding system called M.C.A.S. or the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System that made the plane’s nose dip lower in the case that it’s susceptible to drag–which, made it possible to save more on fuel.
In contrast, the bigger engines made Boeing engineers mount them higher and farther front on the wings than on the old 737 jets. This resulted in destabilization issues that made conflicted with M.C.A.S., which, kept pulling the plane’s nose down; a technicality the pilots were trying to fight but had no idea of why it was happening.
The issue between the F.A.A.’s judgment to allow Boeing to skip integral pilot retraining on the new system
Boeing argues that Lion Air pilots should have known how to handle the malfunction regarding the M.C.A.S. if they followed the company’s established protocols during these kinds of emergencies–even if they were aware of the modification or not. The said protocols or checklist, the company says, have long been familiar to 737 pilots as it is similar with previous 737 jets.
As of the moment, there are no clear indicators on the Ethiopian Airlines crash and if there are any similarities in terms of causality of the two 737 Max 8 jets used.
Both the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air planes were brand-new aircraft. And, both crashed minutes into the flight. But, a new craft crashing for no reason on a sunny day is definite grounds for a thorough investigation.
Countries to Ground All Boeing 737 Max 8 jets
Ethiopian Airlines said Monday that it was grounding its fleet of 737 MAX planes as an “extra safety precaution,” and Cayman Airways, the main carrier of the Cayman Islands, said it would do the same until “more information is received.”
Last October, Lion Air also grounded its 737 Max 8 fleet but continued operation after safety inspections approved it for flight.
Following the Ethiopian Airlines crash, China announced the temporary grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 8 jets from public use.
On Monday, China’s Civil Aviation Administration said in a statement that it would be grounding the country’s entire MAX 8 fleet due to the government’s “zero tolerance for safety hazards.”
China has one of the world’s largest fleets of Boeing 737 MAX 8, operating 97 of the planes, according to Chinese state-run media.
According to Boeing’s most recent reports, 350 MAX planes have already been delivered to airlines across the world. A further 4,661 have been ordered.
Several airlines indicated on Monday that they would not ground their Boeing 737 Max jets, or, in some cases, had no plans to cancel orders.
SpiceJet, a low-cost Indian airline, said that it would continue flying the planes while it awaits guidance from Indian air safety regulators. The airline has 13 Boeing 737 Max 8 planes it uses for international and domestic flights and has more than 100 on order.
In South Korea, Eastar Jet, which operates two Max 8 planes, said it had no plans to ground the jets.
Fiji Airways said it would keep flying its two Max 8 planes and had full confidence in their airworthiness. Comair, a South African airline, said it would continue to fly its one Max 8, and FlyDubai said it would continue to operate its 11 Max 8 planes.
And SilkAir, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, said that it would keep its six 737 Max 8 planes in the air.