According to the in-depth news report by CNBC, concerns are being raised about the safety Boeing Co.’s 737 Max airplanes, its fastest-ever selling aircraft. Questions were raised about this aircraft after an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max crashed a little while after taking off. Everyone on board that aircraft had been killed.
This is the second time in less than 5 months that one of Boeing’s 737 Maxes have been involved in a deadly crash.
According to reports, Ethiopian Airlines’ Flight 302 left the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on the clear morning of Sunday, March 10, at 8.38 am (local time). However, just 6 minutes later, the aircraft lost all contact and its wreckage was found in a rural area southeast of the capital. All 149 passengers as well as the 8 crew members died in the crash.
The victims of the crash were from more than a dozen countries, such as Kenya, the US, the UK, Canada, Italy and China.
The aircraft was a Boeing 737 Max 8, just like the one that crashed in the Java Sea in October last year. That flight, which had taken off from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, had been carrying 189 people on board.
The aircraft maker’s shares nosedived by as much as 13.5% during the day’s trading on Monday, March 11, before closing the day down 5.3% at $400.01 per share. Boeing’s shares have been in a freefall since then, and closed trading down at $373.30 per share on Thursday.
The reason for the Ethiopian Airlines flight’s crash is not known. However, it is rare for a new plane to have 2 fatal crashes is such quick succession.
According to senior crash investigator as well as former airline pilot, John Cox, such an incident is almost unheard of. Cox, did, however, also caution that the investigation in the crash was still in its early stages and there was no indication at this time that the two aircraft crashed for the same reasons.
Cox further explained that while both the Ethiopian Airlines as well as the Lion Air 737 Max 8s had crashed within minutes of having taken off, there were some differences. He said that Lion Air had already reported certain problems with the plane well before the crash, however, Ethiopian Airlines apparently did not have any complaints.
An interim report filed by investigators in November in Indonesia revealed that the Lion Air jet had been facing maintenance problems for several days and that pilots of that aircraft had been struggling with an anti-stall system that had been installed on the plane.
Added to that, Flightradar24, a flight-tracking website, showed data that the Ethiopian Airlines flight was registering unstable vertical speed, which meant that it had been struggling to gain altitude.
Despite that, airlines companies across the world are grounding their 737 Max 8 jets. Domestic officials in Chinese airlines companies to temporarily ground their 737s. According to flight trackers, many of the local Chinese airlines had already complied with that order.
The Civil Aviation Authority of China issued a statement that it would contact Boeing as well as the Federal Aviation Administration and would let local airlines know when it was safe to resume services on those aircraft.
Cayman Airways also grounded its two 737s. The Chief Executive Officer of the airlines, Fabian Whorms stated that these two aircraft would remain grounded until there was more information about what caused the two crashes. He said that their commitment was first to their customers and crew and keeping them safe by ensuring at they carried out completely safe flight operations.
US carriers such as Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines – major customers of Boeing’s 737 Max 8, have shown their support for the aircraft maker, stating that they were sure that there was nothing wrong with the planes.