For the second time in the last six months, another brand-new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft has crashed.
Earlier this morning, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Nairobi, Kenya crashed shortly after takeoff. All 147 passengers and 8 crew members onboard died.
We are following reports that Ethiopian Airlines flight #ET302 to Nairobi has crashed after take off from Addis Ababa.
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) March 10, 2019
The aircraft was a four month-old 737 MAX delivered back in November 2018.
The tragedy follows a Lion Air flight that went down in the Java Sea, also shortly after takeoff. That incident happened in late October, killing all 189 people on board. That Lion Air flight was also operated by a new 737 MAX.
General Unease, Too Soon To Make Assumptions
The 737 MAX is an aircraft that began flying for Boeing less than two years ago. Both Boeing and investigators will be sure to look into whether these crashes are linked in any way.
In the last incident with Lion Air, the jet was found to have a number of indication issues including incorrect data from the jet’s airspeed indicators and a sensor that reports the angle of the plane’s nose. Boeing later sent out a bulletin to 737 MAX operators about possible erroneous angle-of-attack information, and procedures for dealing with it.
Boeing released a statement a short time ago.
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) March 10, 2019
The accident has also triggered general unease amongst flyers. The replies on Boeing’s original tweet already has sparked hundreds of calls to ground the 737 MAX until investigators determine the cause.
There is no immediate evidence as to what triggered this crash but this is what we do know so far.
- Pilot reported difficulties and asked air traffic control to turn back.
- Vertical speed was unstable after takeoff
- There were clear skies and calm weather conditions at the time of the crash.
- Ethiopian will not be grounding its five other 737 MAXs that it operates. It also has 30 MAXs on order.
It’s sad news this morning from Ethiopia, and I guess we will see how Boeing will respond quite soon. For now I’m chalking this one up as a coincidence, and although I’m slightly uneasy, will continue flying the MAX.