Ethiopia Plane Crash Raises Safety Concerns

by The Cowl Editor on March 21, 2019

National and Global News

Maura Campbell ’22

News Staff

On Sunday, March 10, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed soon after takeoff, killing all 157 people on board.

Flight 302, which was bound for Nairobi, Kenya, sent a distress signal shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Within six minutes of takeoff, the plane hit the ground.

Many details of this disaster remain unknown as the black box data recovered from the crash site is still being analyzed. 

However, there is a general consensus among experts that the plane involved in the crash, the Boeing 737 MAX 8 model, should be reexamined. Factors such as pilot error, maintenance problems, and even terrorism have not been ruled out.

This crash has raised widespread questions about the safety of the plane involved in the crash, as this disaster marks the second of its kind in just five months – Lion Air Flight 610, also a Boeing 737 MAX 8, crashed fatally in October of 2018.

Similarities have been drawn between Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610, the most common being the model itself. In addition, both pilots made distress calls just minutes after takeoff. In both disasters, the pilots were well-trained and experienced.

Due to the questions regarding the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX 8, many airlines and nations have ordered the grounding of these flights. 

China and Indonesia are among the countries that have ordered their airlines to suspend use of this plane, as well as independent airlines around the world, including Ethiopian Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines.

When the MAX 8 was first  introduced, it boasted efficient fuel use and technological  advancement. Its differences from other, reliable planes, however, have caused a global call for the model to be reexamined.

The victims of this crash came from 30 different countries, including the United States, Canada, Ethiopia, France, China, Kenya, and Great Britain. The crash of Flight 302 was a tragedy.

On Sunday, March 17, a memorial service was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Families and mourners gathered in the capital city to remember their loved ones and honor their lives.

There is an ongoing investigation into the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and the training procedures of pilots to flying these planes.