Everybody should withhold final judgement until the Ethiopians and the American investigators have gotten a crack at the boxes. But eyewitness reports indicating that the aircraft was breaking up in flight are troubling.
I flew yesterday on a 737-800 which looks mostly like a 737 Max and I was glad when I got aboard and realized it was an 800. I mean I’m not trying to be too dramatic, my rental car drive to the airport was 700 times more dangerous, but I did sleep better on the flight.
It used to be that Airbus built planes that killed people with wacky failures in the electronics and systems. Airbus hasn’t done that since Air France 447 in 2009. Has Boeing now assumed that tragic role? And if so, why and how?
What we do know is that the Lion Air crash in Indonesia was partly a maintenance failure, but also Boeing’s fault. The pilots had the correct input on the controls, the airplane ignored them. The plane killed those people. Again, we’ll see what Ethiopia says on this latest crash.