In March, the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max-8 aircraft crashed, despite having a new system. This crash ultimately killed 157 flyers on board.
What caused the crash?
There is a sensor placed at the front of the aircraft with a new anti-stall mechanism that the Max relied on. The data from the single sensor activated the anti-stall, system ultimately diving the front of the plane down right after take-off. The stall mechanism also activated the nose to pull down after the automatic system failed to reactivate repeatedly. This left pilots with no control over the aircraft and led to its unfortunate downfall.
Since the crash, the Boeing CEO has promised to fix the issue and rectify it by updating their MCAS (anti-stall software) software for new Max pilots.
However, this response was not to any of the victims’ family’s satisfaction as many condemn the apology for being too late and some aim to sue against Boeing, blaming the company’s design for the accident. Boeing also has a close relationship with the Federal Aviation Administration and are also being scrutinized since the aftermath of the crash.
The response of other countries
China was the first to back out, followed on Indonesia, Singapore and then Australia. Now over 40 nations have banned the Boeing 737 due to the second fatal crash that killed 346 people. Some have even banned flyovers of the Boeing plane, even though the FAA tried to reassure states.
Canada’s transport minister feared that the information was not conclusive enough and that a line has been reached to continue flying Boeing’s aircraft.
The United States, Boeing’s biggest customer for the jet had a slow response amid the crash. The FAA resisted mounting pressure from Congress to halt the operation of Boeing whilst they continue to investigate what caused the crash. However, Boeing’s CEO closely spoke with Trump in reassurance that the aircraft was safe to fly. This was not enough as Trump responds the aircraft is too complex to fly and needs more scientific development. After the mounting pressure, Trump has now taken action and has grounded the Max planes
What has happened after the crash?
Pilots from Boeing are being trained with new automated software and controls. New engines were also designed for fuel deficiency. To overcome this, installed was an automated anti-stall system called MCAS which pushes the plane’s front down in order to stabilize the aircraft evenly.
Whether this will be encouraging for other nations remains unclear for now.