Safety in industry is a very old and ever-important topic for public discussion. When a specific technology results in the deaths of dozens of people, there will always need to be a reevaluation of the situation. In this case, the Boeing 737 Max 8 has made the news again, and for the wrong reasons. Several jurisdictions, including the UK and India, have already grounded all Max 8 planes. That being said, there are established methods for evaluating safety going forward.
The most recent accident involved a Boeing 737 Max 8 operated by Etheopian Airlines. The Nairobi-bound plane crashed about 6 minutes after departure, after losing contact with the control tower. The crash killed all 157 passengers, which the UN reports included 19 UN staffers working for various organizations, alongside citizens of 35 UN member states. The reason for the crash has yet to be determined.
To add gas to the flames, this accident comes only 5 months after another accident involving the Max 8. In the most recent accident, cabin crew reported technical problems shortly after taking off. The plane had just gone through an unremarkable routine check, and the pilot was very experienced. The other accident involved a Max 8 crashing into the Java Sea in October of 2018.
Boeing has sent a team to investigate the crash and provide assistance. One aviation analyst reports “Here we have a brand-new aircraft that’s gone down twice in a year. That rings alarm bells in the aviation industry, because that just doesn’t happen.”