A brand new Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed shortly after take off from Addis Ababa this morning on March 10, 2019 most likely killing . On October 29, 2018 a brand new Boeing 737 Max 8 operated as Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea shortly after take off killing 189.
Lion Air cancelled a $22 billion order for the Boeing 737 Max 8. Qatar Airways followed, but later decided to stay with its agreement with Boeing for the delivery of some 60 737 MAX 8 aircrafts.
Boeing has pitched the Max as a more efficient version of the workhorse 737, which debuted in 1967. For the Max, Boeing fitted bigger engines onto an airframe structurally similar to the prior generation’s, mounting them higher and further forward on the wing. That enabled a huge 14% improvement in fuel efficiency. But it also changed the plane’s center of gravity and its flying characteristics.
The new configuration can force the plane’s nose higher in certain situations, so Boeing designed a computerized system meant to compensate for that. When triggered, the system automatically pushes the plane’s nose down, to assure the plane doesn’t stall and lose lift. That system is now in focus, since pilots in both crashes appear to have struggled with a plane they couldn’t prevent from nose-diving.
Boeing have yet to understand the real cause. They have used a sales tour of 737 MAX customers to convince the industry they have a simple software patch that can nullify a problem with the AoA sensor but this is just unethical sales talk.
By inference the software patch appears to disable the software logic which disconnects the Autopilot when AoA data disagrees.
There are valid reasons why an Autopilot should disengage when data disagrees, so solving that problem potentially only creates another safety problem.
- Ethiopian Airlines.
- Cayman Airways.
- Aerolíneas Argentinas.
How to tell if you will be flying a 737 MAX?
It is actually very easy to identify the Boeing 737 MAX series simply by looking at the engine before boarding the plane. The 737 MAX engine has a unique pattern (shown in image above) which was introduced with all the MAX series of the airplanes.