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Boeing 737 Max Aircraft Crash Litigation

Steven M. Sandler

The March 9, 2019 crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 that killed 157 passengers and crew is the second accident involving a Boeing 737-Max 8 aircraft within the past 5 months. In October 2018, a Lion Air Boeing 737-Max 8 crashed in Indonesia, killing all 189 passengers and crew on board. Litigation has begun in the Lion Air crash, and we are actively investigating cases related to this disaster.

About the Boeing 737 Planes & Crashes

Both the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air airplanes were recently placed into service. The Ethiopian Airlines 737 – Max 8 entered service only last year. As the 737 Max 8 began airline service in 2017, it is one of the newest airplane models flying throughout the world.

There are similarities between the two crashes. Both occurred shortly after takeoff and at low altitudes, and the flight crews wanted to return immediately to the departure airports. In addition, both aircraft appeared to be experiencing irregular flight patterns by climbing and descending at low altitudes before the pilots lost control.

Are the Crashes Related?

It’s too early to determine whether the causes of these accidents are related – investigations are only just beginning. The fact that both crashes occurred in clear weather conditions and pilots from both aircraft radioed requests to return to the airport of departure does not, in and of itself, give an indication of the specific reason the pilots felt it necessary to return. However, serious concerns exist.

Although there are many potential causes for these crashes, numerous airlines and countries are grounding their Boeing 737-Max 8 fleets. Australia, Germany, Malaysia, Oman, Singapore, and the United Kingdom are not allowing the Boeing 737-Max 8 to fly in their airspace. On Wednesday, President Trump also issued an order grounding all Boeing 737 Max planes

Boeing, which is based in Chicago, believes its 737-Max 8 is safe to fly and operate. Yet, the company is now in the process of modifying software for this airliner and it will be released by April. After the Lion Air crash, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive to all airlines that fly the 737 Max 8. An Airworthiness Directive is an action by the FAA to correct an unsafe situation and safety defect. In addition, Boeing released a bulletin warning pilots of the potential problems associated with this system.

Further investigation should reveal the causes of these crashes so that aircraft regulators and passengers are confident the aircraft is safe. The Boeing 737 Max 8, its computer systems, and training materials are products that should not pose hazards to the flying public or its flight crews. Design failures and insufficient warnings subject manufacturers to recourse through our legal system.

Our Chicago aviation accident attorneys will continue to following investigations and legislations related to the tragic Boeing 737 crashes. Contact us for more information (866) 400-4450.

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