An Ethiopian Airlines flight has crashed on its way from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya, minutes after its takeoff on Sunday. The crash led to the demise of 157 people on board that included 19 workers from the United Nations. This flight route is frequent among UN workers, often referred to as the ‘UN shuttle’. 8 Americans, 18 Canadians, 7 British were among the dead.
It was a Boeing 737 MAX 8, which is the same new version of the 737 that crashed in Indonesia in October. This crash will raise a lot of brows over the design and engine of this particular flight model, primarily the plane’s automated flight control systems.
The national transportation safety board said in its statement that they were sending a team of four to look into the matter. It said in a tweet:
The NTSB is sending a team of four to support the Ethiopian Accident Investigations Bureau’s investigation of Sunday’s crash. The NTSB team has expertise in systems/structures, powerplants and operations and will be assisted by technical advisers from FAA, Boeing and GE.
— NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) March 10, 2019
Following the crash, China suspended all commercial trips that involved the Boeing 737 MAX 8 as its carrier.
“Given that two accidents both involved newly delivered Boeing 737-8 planes and happened during take-off phase, they have some degree of similarity,” the Civil Aviation Administration of China said.
Ethiopian Airlines also barred its Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet until further notice, posting on their Twitter account on Monday.
Accident Bulletin no. 5 Issued on March 11, 2019 at 07:08 AM Local Time pic.twitter.com/rwxa51Fgij
— Ethiopian Airlines (@flyethiopian) March 11, 2019
It is interesting to note that the accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia both involved newly delivered Boeing 737-8 planes and happened during the take-off phase.
Boeing is yet to comment on China’s action but released a statement that they had been deeply saddened by the Ethiopian Airlines tragedy in Addis Ababa.
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) March 10, 2019