By Patricia Sliney:
Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 was scheduled to land in Nairobi Kenya on March 10th 2019, but this Boeing 737 Max 8 would never touch down in Kenya. The passenger plane crashed in the Mediterranean Sea shortly after take-off yielding no survivors and 157 deaths. On March 13th President Trump ordered all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes to be grounded in the United States due to the new Boeing models’ involvement in two major plane crashes shortly after its release.
Recent developments reveal that there is a connection between the Ethiopian Airlines crash, and a crash of the same model flown by Indonesian airline Lion Air in October of 2018 that resulted in the death of 189 people. Why, five months after this initial Boeing 737 Max 8 crash, are actions just now being taken? I took to the streets of Assumption College and asked frequent flyer of over 50 flights in her lifetime, Sarah Ardolino how these crashes make her feel. “I think it’s concerning that it took 300 plus people to lose their lives flying on Boeing for the company to look into their safety features.”
According to the New York Times, both Boeing 737 Max 8 models involved in the two crashes lacked some safety features due to the fact that they were being sold separately at an additional charge. One of these safety features is now being added as standard issue in all future models after both crashes have killed a total of over 300 people.
While not many details are known about the factors involved in why the planes crashed, we do know that the front of the Lion Air flight reportedly dipped repeatedly before crashing a mere twelve minutes after take-off. One of the additional safety features that both Boeing planes lacked, called the “angle of attack sensors”, assist pilots in keeping stability of the nose of the plane relative to oncoming winds. There is no guarantee that the addition of this safety feature would have been the difference between whether or not these planes crashed, but there are no regulations requiring these models to include angle of attack sensors.
Ardolino, having traveled to more than 10 countries in 2018 says “I definitely think there should be more safety regulations. I am not exactly familiar with the ones that are put in place now, but companies like boeing shouldn’t be allowed to skip certain safety features just to save a few dollars.”
Sarah is not alone in her concerns. Public opinion is in favor of the move to ground all 737 models. Let us know your thoughts by commenting below or tweeting us @the_AC301 today.