A Scandal in the Sky

Lea Douglas, Staff Writer

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What was supposed to be the newest hot commodity for aircrafts has quickly become the most disgraced plane. The Boeing 737 MAX 8 has been the cause of approximately 340+ deaths within the past six months. After multiple people have lost their lives, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) still deems the product of Boeing worthy of flight.

On March 10, all 157 passengers and crew members onboard were killed. October, six months prior, 189 killed. So, what’s the cause of so many deaths in a short amount of time? The Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. Although both of the mysterious crashes are still under investigation, one aircraft unites them.  “It would probably be useful to have a thorough investigation to try and figure out what’s happening. Maybe temporarily halt use of it [Boeing 737] until they know for sure” said Mr. Ryan Walters, SJHS history teacher.

Even after two crashes, Boeing has 69 airlines that currently fly a version of the 737 MAX aircraft.  However, nearly 50 countries around the globe have chosen to ground the Boeing 737 including: Canada, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom.

America’s choice to ground the MAX 8 took longer than expected . It took criticism from citizens and inspiration from other countries to finally take action. One day prior to its grounding, the FAA said the plane was safe to fly and that they had no plans whatsoever to stop the use of the craft.

After reviewing evidence from the airplane wreckage, the FAA saw similarities between the Ethiopian and Indonesian crashes which ultimately led to the temporary grounding of the aircraft. On March 13, the United States joined other nations to temporarily ground the 737 Boeing aircraft. “I think jumping to conclusion and outright banning it  [Boeing 737] in the future might be a step too far if they find anything actually wrong with the plane,” said Mr. Walters ended with.

Although most airlines have stopped the use of the 737 MAX series completely, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Flydubai, and WestJet continue to fly the 737 MAX. In a poll sent to SJHS students, 159 students said they’ve flown before, however, only 135 people responded stated that they felt safe inflight.

The 737 MAX has been the fastest selling aircraft in Boeing’s 102-year historic reign. The craft can hold up to 210 passengers and has a range of approximately 2,205 miles before a fuel stop. More than 100 global operators have ordered more than 4,500 aircrafts since 2016. At this time Boeing and many other aviation companies are trying to detect the issue with their Boeing 737 MAX model planes. While Boeing is trying to repair the 737 they released a statement saying they give their heartfelt sympathies to the family members of people aboard the Ethiopian Airlines flight.