The second fatal crash of a Boeing 737 MAX last Sunday in Ethiopia has led to a worldwide decision by aviation authorities to ground all Boeing 737 MAX. The US was the last of 42 other countries to make this decision. 157 people lost their lives in Sunday’s crash and 189 died in October in Indonesia in a very similar airplane crash.
According to recent investigations both crashes occurred in a very similar manner. A new flight control system for which pilots weren’t proprely trained may have caused both accidents according to preliminary investigations. According to an article in the New York Times, after the first accidents, the pilots union complained that Boeing didn’t inform pilots that in some cases the new flight control system could automatically push the nose of the plane down. Experts believe this change may have played a role in both accidents.
PILOTS LOOSING THE BATTLE AGAINST THE NEW FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM
According to investigators in the first accident faulty sensors may have led the newly installed automated system known as M.C.A.S. to push the nose of the plane down. The pilots tried to correct it and put the nose up several time at 15 seconds intervals but each time they were overridden by the system. They finally lost the battle against the system and crashed the plane killing 189 people. Experts believe the same happened to the pilots of Ethiopians Airlines last Sunday.
The 737 Max is Boeing’s best-selling airliner ever. In the first 6 months more than 4,000 models were ordered. The company Norwegian-Air has eighteen 737 Max in its fleet and has already announced that it would seek compensation for the loss of profit resulting from the grounding. Boeing will also face multiple wrongful death lawsuits from the passengers family.
More scrutiny will be directed in the coming days into understanding why the F.A.A. didn’t require more substantial training for pilots to fly the 737 MAX.
Image: courtesy of Wikipedia