Ethiopian Airlines crash

This item appears on page 18 of the May 2019 issue.

An Ethiopian Airlines plane flying from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Nairobi, Kenya, crashed shortly after takeoff on March 10, killing all 157 people on board, including eight Americans. Before the crash, the pilot requested a return to the airport due to unspecified mechanical problems.

The aircraft, a Boeing 737 Max 8, was the same model as that in an October 2018 Lion Air crash in Indonesia that killed 189 people. The Lion Air plane was found to have crashed due to an automated flight-control system that had pointed the aircraft’s nose down despite pilots’ attempts to correct the angle. Concerns that this may be a systemic problem led a number of countries, including the US and those in the EU, to ground 737 Max 8s in service until the software is updated.