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Ethiopian Airline Crash leads to Boeing backlash

Posted by / March 12, 2019

On Sunday, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed shortly after takeoff. The pilot issued a distress call after the plane struggled to ascend at a stable speed. The jet was cleared to return to Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, but it lost contact with air traffic control six minutes after takeoff and then crashed. The plane had 157 people on board, including passengers from at least thirty-five different countries. Among the passengers were United Nations delegates.

The crashed plane was a Boeing 737 Max 8. It was the same kind of plane involved in the Lion Air crash in Indonesia in which 189 people died. Both American and Indonesian officials suggest that automated anti-stall software may have caused the Lion Air crash.

As a result of this second crash, both China and Indonesia have grounded all Boeing 737 Max 8 flights. The Chinese aviation oversight agency said that it had a zero tolerance policy for safety hazards: “Given that two accidents both involved newly delivered Boeing 737-8 planes and happened during take-off phase, they have some degree of similarity.” This is enough of a risk for China to ground all flights.

A variety of airlines––many of which operate in the United States––are still operating 737 Max-8 jets.

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