In the wake of Sunday's crash of Boeing's 737 Max 8, the newest in their airliner offerings, comes speculation that there will be a renewing of just how safe the ever-popular airline may be. On Sunday, the Ethiopian airlines crashed shortly after takeoff from the capital city of Addis Ababa, killing all 157 passengers and crew onboard.
Reports state the airliner itself was new, and that the weather was clear and not believed to play a part in the crash. However, shortly after take off the pilots reported that something was indeed wrong, and they made an attempt to return to the airport. As fate would have it, they never made it back.
Many feel that Sunday's airliner crash draws eerily similar circumstances to another accident in October, which involved a Boeing 737 Max 8 as well. That particular airliner was owned by Indonesia's Lion Air and reportedly just a few short minutes after takeoff crashed as well—into the Java Sea. This time 198 passengers and crew were killed when the airline went down.
Safety experts are quick to caution anyone against comparing the two airline crashes, or from attempting to draw any parallels between the two tragedies as well. William Waldock, an aviation-safety professor, stated that the raising of suspicion and drawing of similarities between the two airline crashes is going to happen.
Why would they not?
The same type of plane, for all intents and purposes, appears to have crashed in the same manner—a nosedive that proved fatal and left nothing but tiny pieces of wreckage. He went on to state: "Investigators are not big believers in coincidence."
Waldock stated that the procedure would now be for Boeing to take a much closer look at the system for flight-management as well as the automation on the Max. However, he also cautions the investigation is still in the early phase, and investigators will have more to go by once the black box from the Ethiopian plane has been recovered.
A former NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) investigator stated that with the information that is currently known, of both pilots encountering a similar problem so shortly after takeoff, as well as the vertical speed variations during ascent—all which point to the possibility of a controllability problem being present.
Various other explanations may include engine problems, error on the part of the pilot, shifting weight loads, strikes by birds, or even the possibility of sabotage. Investigators stated they intend to take a very close look the maintenance schedule of the Ethiopian airliner since it is suspected that maintenance may have played a part in the Lion Air crash.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Will Boeing be looking at more problems down the line with their 737 Max 8 airliner?