Boeing Plane Crashes

A model of a Boeing 737 Max 8 plane.

A model of a Boeing 737 Max 8 plane.

Salma Almoradi, Photojournalist

On the morning of March 10, 2019,  Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed killing all 157 people on board. The plane took off from Addis Ababa and was flying on its way to Nairobi, Kenya. Also, Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea in Indonesia almost a little less than half a year ago on October 29, 2018 after taking off from Jakarta and killing all 189 people on board. Interestingly enough, both of these planes, as well others that crashed, were all the same type and had many similarities.

First of all, both were  Boeing 737 Max 8 planes. The planes both used the same software;  called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System which was a newer software that causes the nose of the plane to get lower right away when it receives information from its external AOA sensors that the aircraft is flying too slowly or too steeply, and is at a risk of stalling. Previously, Jean-Paul Troadec, who is the former head of France’s aviation accident investigation bureau, reported that he saw weaknesses in the system. In addition, both planes crashed not even half an hour after take off; Flight 302 crashing after six minutes and the other after thirteen, stated

Some might say it might not be the plane itself; however, both planes had experienced crew members. The pilots had hundreds to thousands of hours of experience whenthe United Nations agency, International Civil Aviation Organization, recommends commercial pilots to have a minimum of 150 hours and the FAA requires that commercial pilots have 1,500 hours. These pilots also both reported to having  experienced difficulties. The Ethiopian Airlines pilot reported that he was having problems and asked to return back to the ground. Once he was given permission to return to ground, the flight disappeared from radar at the same time. As for the other crew, they had a hard time overriding the plane’s automatic services right before it crashed into the ocean. Apparently, according to CNN, the problem was that the MCAS system was responding to incorrect data transmitted by an AOA sensor.

Clearly, these similarities aren’t coincidences, but a fault in the system or plane type. Because of these plane crashes, the most recent one caused President Donald Trump and his administration to order the grounding of all Max 8 and even 9 models  on March 13. This was a bit after Canada decided to ground the planes after analyzing new satellite tracking data. Senior, Bita Zadeh (12) is glad that the United States is grounding the planes because as a person who travels a lot, “safety is an important factor to [her] and [she] doesn’t want to risk anything happening while going on a vacation.” Hopefully, the exact problem is found and resolved as soon as possible so that there will be no more crashes and deaths of many innocent people. Next time, more precautions should be taken before having the plane start to take off to make sure it is completely safe to fly.