Boeing 737 Max 8 crash – Why Boeing 737 Max 8 is being grounded

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Here are some inputs on the Boeing 737 Max 8 crash.

The Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 that took off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, bound for Nairobi, Africa crashed on March 10, 2019. As per the airlines, there were 149 passengers and 8 crew members on board. The Ethiopian Airlines group CEO confirmed that there were no survivors in the plane crash. 

Reasons that led to the crash of Boeing 737 Max

This incidence reminds us of the other crash of the Lion Air Flight 610 that took place in October 2018. It was an equally fatal accident which claimed 189 lives. One of the common links in both the fatalities is that both the planes were Boeing 737 MAX 8. Now the question arises, is it the Boeing aircraft at fault or there are other reasons that lead to the crash?

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Let’s understand the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft first:

  • The Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft is manufactured by the aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing Commercial Airplanes, United States.
  • Boeing 737 MAX 8 took its first flight on January 2016 and has been widely in use since then.
  • The Boeing 737 Max aircraft was re-designed to make it fuel efficient. The engineers made changes in the older model, used a bigger engine. Some changes were also made in the design of the aircraft.
  • Boeing Max 737 became the fastest selling aircraft in history, as claimed by the manufacturing company on its website.

When it comes to speculating the faults which led to the two crashes of the Boeing 737 aircraft, it is too early to say a thing and the matter is under investigation. The crash also questions the safety concerns with the 737 Max and hence keeping in mind the safety of the passengers, many countries have grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft for the time being.

Boeing 737 Max 8

Reasons that led to the crash of Boeing 737 Max
Flightradar24 said: “vertical speed [of the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft] was unstable after takeoff.” Flightradar24 tracks air traffic in real-time globally. It tracked the flight for approximately three minutes after it took off.

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Here are some readings regarding the Boeing 737 Max 8 crash:

  • Some initial similarities between the Lion Air crash that took place in Indonesia last year and the Ethiopian aircraft that went down recently are said to have been found. For example, on the day of the crash i.e. on Sunday, the aircraft lost contact six minutes after it took off. The pilot was given clearance by the authorities to return to the airport in Addis Ababa. But it was about 56 km away from the Addis Ababa, where the flight went down.
  • Lion Air crash that took place last year also went down a few minutes after it took off.
  • Considering last year’s case, it was found that the Lion Air craft’s abrupt nose dive must have been one of the reasons causing the crash, as investigated by the Indonesian and American aviation authorities.
  • Reportedly, the nosedive might have taken place due to the updated Boeing software, which was actually meant to prevent a stall. A stall is a condition of an aircraft that causes disruption of airflow and there is a loss of lift to make the aircraft fly. A stall can cause a fatal descent if incorrect information is fed into the system regarding the altitude and angle of the flight, which can be done only when the plane is not in an autopilot mode. When an aircraft is in the autopilot mode, it makes the plane maintain certain parameters and keeps it well above the minimum limits required to maintain a flight. Only when the pilot takes the controls in hand (in order to prevent fatalities) added with a technical glitch could such fatalities take place.
  • Some pilots’ unions came out with a statement like, the change in the flight control system, that can override manual motions in the Max model, which was not explained to pilots.
  • After the tragic incident, Boeing said it will continue “to evaluate the need for software or other changes as we learn more from the ongoing investigation”.
  • The company issued a statement: “A Boeing technical team is prepared to provide technical assistance at the request and under the direction of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board,”.
  • Boeing expressed it was “deeply saddened” by the incident.

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Keeping in mind the safety of the passengers most of the airlines do let the passengers see the type of aircraft they will fly in. The information can be found out while you are booking your tickets online. After Boeing 737 Max 8 crash, many countries have grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.

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