IT’S sad but true that when there are air crashes in places like Africa it may make the headlines for a day or two but the news cycle quickly moves on. However, the recent disaster in Ethiopia is still making the headlines for two reasons, the international makeup of the passenger roster and the fact that the nature of the crash is starting to have global repercussions for the aviation industry. There were no survivors when the Boeing 737 fell out of the sky shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa last Sunday and the 157 fatalities were from 35 countries, including the UK and Spain.
While the victim’s friends and family go through the painful grieving process, aviation experts have turned their attention to the plane that crashed, a Boeing 737 Max 8. This is the second disaster involving this exact model following the one in Indonesia last October which killed all 189 people on board. Max 8 is a relatively new and extremely common aircraft around the globe. In response to the recent disaster, at the time of writing over 40 countries had ordered this model of Boeing to be grounded until an investigation into the latest incident is completed. This list includes all European Union countries but not the USA although the flight industry there is under extreme pressure to join the ban. Meanwhile, Boeing stands by the airworthiness of its plane, but many countries will need concrete explanations of why two planes have seemingly fallen out of the sky just after take off for no apparent reason.
Back on the ground the black box flight recorder has been recovered but is said to be badly damaged from the 8,000 feet fall. The Red Cross, medical teams and other workers are also at the site with the unenviable task of recovering debris, belongings and body parts. Crash investigation experts will also be trawling the site for evidence of what caused the latest tragedy.