Reports indicate that the Ethiopian Airline crash could have been caused by a major manufacturing issue, as the recent incident makes it the third time the new type of Boeing would crash since the Boeing 737 Max-8 has been in commercial use.
This is the second time in four months and who knows, maybe, just maybe, other 737 Max models should not make it to our Airports.
Recall that in October 2018, a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max (3 months old) went down shortly after take-off from Jakarta, Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board.
An air safety expert, Gerry Soejatman told a BBC reporter that the 737 Max's "engine is a bit further forward and a bit higher in relation to the wing, compared to the previous version of the plane. That affects the balance of the plane".
Inquiries made by the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee revealed that Lion Air flight 610 experienced "erroneous input" from one of its sensors designed to alert pilots if the aeroplane is at risk of stalling. Although, immediately, the Airline issued a detailed operations bulletin, many pilots seem not to be fully aware of the new changes especially regarding the sensor and software connected with it.
The US aviation regulator then issued an "emergency" airworthiness directive to US carriers about this sensor - a so-called Angle of Attack (AOA) sensor.
The Federal Aviation Authority said the sensor condition, "if not addressed, could cause the flight crew to have difficulty controlling the airplane, and lead to excessive nose-down attitude, significant altitude loss, and possible impact with terrain". It is still not clear if same was communicated to Airline operators on the continent and elsewhere.
US airlines were told to update information flight manuals for air crew. If the FAA passed the information to other aviation regulators, the question is was same passed to pilots? More answers are needed definitely.
Aviation sources say it almost certain that Ethiopian Airlines pilots would have been updated on the sensor issue.There is no immediate evidence to suggest the Ethiopia Airlines jet has encountered the same difficulties as the Lion Air flight.
In a statement on Sunday, Boeing said a "technical team is prepared to provide technical assistance at the request and under the direction of the US National Transportation Safety Board".
It has also said it extended its "heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team".
The Boeing 737 Max has been the fastest-selling aircraft in Boeing's history, with more than 4,500 ordered by 100 different operators globally.
One of the world's most professionally run airlines like the Ethiopian Airlines, can not be tainted by a seemingly manufacturing issue, which unfortunately cannot bring back the lives of the souls that departed.
Header Image Credit: BBC