••• The International Writers Magazine - Our 20th Year: Comment
The Causes /Issues of The 2 Crashes of the Boeing 737 MAX
Nick Millman -
One year on from the fated flight of Oct 29th 2018
There were two fatal crashes of the Boeing 737 MAX and a subsequent grounding of the entire fleet of the aircraft. The first accident was Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29, 2018 and then there was Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019, with a combined total of three hundred and forty-six people killed. What went wrong with these two crashes? What has the economic impact been?
The cause of the crashes as investigated, was due to the ‘MCAS’ or ‘Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System’. If the aircraft pitches up too high it will then pitch the aircraft back down again, but in the case of the Lion Air and Ethiopian crashes, it malfunctioned and produced a constant and high-speed pitch down effect and thus interpreted the angle of attack incorrectly.
“The board also announced today its recommendations from the five-month independent review of the company's policies and processes for airplane design and development by the Committee on Airplane Policies and Processes, formed in April 2019 following the Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 737 MAX accidents.” (www.boeing.com)
As stated, Boeing is doing as much as they can in order to solve the problem and have set up a committee on resolving the matter. Once the MCAS software and hardware update is operational and meets FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) standards, then the MAX can resume flying.
Paul Njoroge who lost his wife, three children and mother-in-law in the Ethiopian crash, said “We are not going to go away until the correct processes are being followed in ungrounding the plane”. (www.aljazeera.com) This is one example of how families and people have been affected by the crashes and also suggests that the crashes could have been preventable if the MCAS system has been a fully efficient and effective system at the build and test phase in the Boeing Factory.
The Boeing 737 MAX as of now has been grounded and there are no more orders. Additionally, there is no current production of this model. The future of the aircraft looks sketchy as it needs FAA approval to go back to the skies. There has been a continuing and profound investigation into those two crashes and until its resolved, it won't fly again and no more will be produced, and will impact Boeing as a company economically.
© Nicky Millman Oct 29th 2019