Aviation disasters: Boeing 737 MAX crashes - What we know and what next
Aviation disasters: More than 300 Boeing 737 MAX jets have been grounded worldwide after two fatal crashes in five months in Ethiopia and Indonesia killed nearly 350 people. Investigators looking to uncover the causes must answer one of the biggest questions: Was the plane`s software to blame?
BOEING 737 MAX CRASHES: WHAT WE KNOW
1. Boeing has stopped delivery of all new 737 MAX jets. Its stock has fallen about 6 percent since the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10.
2. Boeing maintains its new, fuel-efficient jets are safe, but supported the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) decision to ground them. Image source: Reuters
3. The preliminary report into the Boeing 737 Max Ethiopian disaster, published on April 4, showed a key sensor was wrecked, possibly by a bird strike. It began to feed faulty data into the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), designed to prevent stalls by pushing the nose of the plane lower.
4. Flying faster than recommended, the crew struggled with MCAS and turned it off. But the plane was still pointed down. Image source: Reuters
5. making it hard to use manual controls. Data suggests they later turned MCAS-related systems back on - that would also reactivate the electric trim system to help push the plane higher. But with its power restored, a final MCAS nose-down command kicked in. Reactivating MCAS is contrary to advice issued by Boeing and regulators. The report did not address that.
6. The preliminary report into October`s Lion Air crash in Indonesia suggested pilots also lost control after grappling with the MCAS software. It also focused on airline maintenance and training. Image source: Reuters
BOEING 737 MAX CRASHES: WHAT`S NEXT?
1. A final report by Ethiopian authorities aided by air-safety experts from the United States and Europe is due to be published within a year.
2 Indonesia has advanced the planned release of its report on the Lion Air crash to between July and August, versus a previous schedule of between August and September. Image source: Reuters
3 US lawmakers said on March 14 the 737 MAX could be grounded for weeks to upgrade software in every plane. Other countries may ground the planes even longer.
4 The US Transportation Department`s inspector general plans to audit the FAA`s certification of the jet, an official with the office said on March 19. The office can recommend changes or improvements to how the FAA operates. Image source: Reuters
6. The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives transportation committee and another key Democrat asked the Transportation Department`s inspector general to examine key decisions the FAA made in certifying the MAX jet.
7. Ethiopian Airlines said on March 16 that DNA testing of passengers` remains may take up to six months. Image source: Reuters