Boeing 737 Max Crisis: Manufacturing Defects Behind Deadly Crashes Admits CEO
The aviation industry received a shock when two deadly crashes, of similar nature, claimed 346 lives within a span of five months.
The first crash, on October 2018, involved a Boeing 737 MAX aircraft belonging to Lion Air (Indonesia) which crashed 12 minutes after takeoff, claiming the lives of all 189 people onboard.
In a similar incident, a Boeing 737 MAX belonging to Ethiopian Airlines crashed 6 minutes after takeoff; the crash claimed the lives of all 157 people onboard.
In a recent statement, the CEO of Boeing, Dennis Muilenburg, admitted that the planes had a technical flaw since the beginning. He said that the company made a “mistake” in handling the faulty systems of the aircraft before the two deadly crashes.
The Pilots Were Blamed
After investigating into the first crash, the experts had claimed that the aircraft was not flightworthy. They said that it had shown an error in the past 4-5 flights and that Lion Air failed to address it.
There was speculation that the aircraft might have a manufacturing error, but Boeing dismissed it. It issued a directive for the pilots on what to do when faced with a similar situation.
After the Ethiopian Airlines crash, many blamed the actions of the pilots. Investigations revealed that they had followed the directives issued by Boeing. The aircraft crashed nonetheless.
The Fault With The Aircraft
The American Airlines’ Pilots’ Union reacted against Boeing’s insinuations on the pilots, calling them “inexcusable”.
“Shame on you…we’re going to call you out on it,” said the spokesperson from the Union. “That’s a poisoned, diseased philosophy.”
The CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam, said in his statement, “It is very clear where the blame should lie.”
“It’s a global fact that the aircraft has a problem, that’s why it’s grounded, and Boeing is making modifications.”
“People who have made these claims should ask themselves, ‘Why on earth have they grounded 380 planes over the world?’ The facts speak for themselves.”
On Monday, Boeing’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg confirmed that the fault was, indeed, with the aircraft. Muilenburg said that his firm failed to communicate the problems with the system “crisply”.
“Clearly, we can make improvements, and we understand that and we will make those improvements,” Muilenburg said, after acknowledging that Boeing made a “mistake”.
The Situation In India
Right after the Ethiopian Crash, there was a call for a worldwide ban on the specific aircraft model. In a public notification dated March 11, 2019, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) prohibited the aircraft from flying in the Indian skies.
The data from the DGCA indicates that there were 18 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in operation. 13 of them belong to Spicejet and 5 to Jet Airways. The flights stopped with immediate effect.
– Have presently announced cancellation of 14 flights for today and will be operating additional flights from tomorrow.
– Of the 76 planes in our fleet, 64 aircraft are in operations
– Passengers being given alternate flights, rest have been offered a full-refund
— Tarun Shukla (@shukla_tarun) March 13, 2019
It is alarming that the faulty aircraft was in operation for more than a year before it was grounded and potentially put thousands of lives in danger.