The Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes and controversy, explained.

The second deadly crash of a Boeing 737 Max model aeroplane within months of the first has put flyers around the world on edge. Multiple countries have grounded the planes as a result, including, after coming under pressure, the United States.
Here’s what happened: On Sunday, March 10, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Nairobi, Kenya, faltered and crashed soon after taking off, killing all 157 people on board. The incident was, of course, devastating. But making it even more disturbing is that it happened just months after a Lion Air flight taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia, crashed in October, killing all 189 passengers. The flights were the exact same model of planes, Boeing 737 Max. The second crash over the weekend sent shock waves across the world, not only because the victims came from 35 countries but also because multiples of the same such jets are being used globally. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there are a total of 387 Boeing 737 Max models operating, including 74 in the United States. The second fatal crash of a 737 Max 8 jet in less than six months has raised questions about whether such planes are any longer safe to fly. Multiple countries have grounded the planes since Sunday, including Brazil, China, and India. The European Union on Tuesday suspended all flight operations of Boeing Model 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9 in Europe, and on Wednesday, Canada and the US followed suit. The US was especially slow to act. According to NPR, three airlines fly 737 Max planes in the country: American, Southwest, and United. The FAA initially confirmed the “continued airworthiness” of the planes. But on Wednesday, President Trump issued an emergency order to ground the planes, which the FAA said would remain in place “pending further examination, including examination of information from the aircraft’s flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders.”
Two crashes in less than six months
On Sunday, all 157 people on the Ethiopian Airlines flight were killed after the plane lost contact with the control tower and crashed minutes after takeoff. The passengers on the plane came from more than 30 countries, and the United Nations confirmed that at least 22 staff members died in the accident.
The Boeing 737 Max 8 model of the Ethiopian Airlines flight is the same model of the Indonesian airline Lion Air Flight 610 that crashed in October, killing all 189 people on board. In November, investigators determined in an initial probe that pilots were engaged in what CNN described as a “futile tug-of-war with the plane’s automatic systems” minutes before the crash. A sensor erroneously reported that the plane was stalling and erroneously sent the plane nose down, and pilots couldn’t override it. Investigators also concluded that the plane was “no longer airworthy” when the crash occurred. We still don’t know what happened with the Ethiopian Airlines flight, or if the plane crashed for the same reason. An international probe into the accident is underway, including with experts from the United States. Ethiopian Airlines said on Monday that the flight data recorder and cockpit recorder have been recovered. They could help investigators figure out the cause of the incident.
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam told CNN on Tuesday that the pilot was “having difficulties with the flight control of the aeroplane” before the crash.
This has international implications
Two deadly crashes of the same plane model within months has sent ripples around the world. There is broad concern that the Jets might not be safe to fly, and calls are growing for them to be grounded until investigators can figure out what’s going on and address the problem if there is one.As Shannon Sims explained at the New York Times, the Boeing 737 Max 8, on the market since 2017, has been popular more than 4,000 such planes were ordered within six months of its launch. Airlines like them because they have good features for passengers, like more legroom, and for the airlines themselves, namely, fuel efficiencies.But with catastrophic incidents happening close together on a new model of planes, there are a lot of questions about whether they’re safe.Gregory Wallace at CNN surveyed experts to see what they think. The result: They were split. Former FAA safety inspector David Soucie told Wallace that he’s “never said it’s unsafe to fly a particular model of aircraft, but in this case, I’m going to have to go there.”He noted that after the Lion Air crash last year, Boeing recommended that pilots take training to make sure they avoided the mistakes the pilot of that plane made, but he didn’t know if the Ethiopian Airlines pilot took that training. “If there was a way for me to know that, then I would most definitely get on that aeroplane,” he said.Peter Goelz, a former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board, told Wallace it was “premature to ground the fleet” until more information is gathered.Regardless of what experts say, people are understandably very nervous and afraid to board a Boeing 737 Max 8 flight in the future. Boeing’s stock price has taken a hit as well.
There are a lot of concerns about the plane itself
The accidents have spurred a lot of questions that need answering.They’ve put scrutiny on the jet model itself, of course. According to CNBC, the October crash raised questions about the plane’s manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system. In November, Boeing issued a safety bulletin for pilots explaining how to better handle it, but it’s not clear whether that’s been enough. On Monday, Boeing put out a statement on its work developing a “flight control software enhancement” for the 737 Max and said it plans to implement the change by April. The FAA also said on Monday that it will mandate design enhancements to Boeing’s automated system and signalling by April as well.Multiple countries have grounded the Boeing 737 Max jets — Vox’s Gaby Del Valle has a more complete explanation on that. China’s Civil Aviation Administration, for example, on Monday announced a temporary ban on the planes, and Indonesia followed suit soon after. As Del Valle laid out, that’s a big deal, because China and Indonesia are two of Boeing’s biggest customers.Others have since followed suit, including, finally, Canada and the US.In a statement on Wednesday, Boeing backed the FAA’s decision but stood by the safety of its planes. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the decision was made out of “an abundance of caution” and that the company is doing “everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.”The US airlines initially stuck by Boeing. A Southwest spokesperson told USA Today the company remained “confident in the safety and airworthiness” of its fleet of Boeing aircraft, but it also appears to be helping customers figure out what type of aircraft they’re on.A spokesperson for American Airlines told Del Valle that the company will “closely monitor the investigation in Ethiopia” but has “full confidence in the aircraft and our crew members.” The airline also tweeted that it’s waiting on an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board to figure out what to do.
Alan K.@Will_thekid · Mar 11, 2019
@AmericanAir are you going to ground the Boeing 737 MAX 8s?
American Airlines✔@AmericanAir
We will closely monitor the investigation via Being and the National Transportation Safety Board.
12:10 PM - Mar 11, 2019
See American Airlines's other Tweets
Despite the reassurances or at least calls by many in the industry to wait for facts — the pressure to take action in the US appears to have been too much. Consumer Reports said Tuesday that Southwest and American should have already halted flights and, since they haven’t, the FAA should.Paul Page, a journalist at the Wall Street Journal, pointed out that the top job at the FAA has been vacant for the past 14 months and airline enforcement fines have dropped significantly. He also noted that the Department of Transportation has been extra friendly to the airline industry under Trump.
Paul Page✔@PaulPage
The top FAA job has been vacant for 14 months, airline enforcement fines have dropped 88% in two years and lengthy tarmac delays have doubled. Meantime, the U.S. is increasingly isolated in not acting on the Boeing 737 Max 8. 
https://www.wsj.com/articles/boeing-737-max-the-latest-example-of-a-passive-dot-11552409944  via @WSJ
1,941
5:47 PM - Mar 12, 2019
Boeing 737 MAX: The Latest Example of a Passive DOT
The U.S. Department of Transportation has shown a pattern of lax regulation that at times has frustrated airlines, lawmakers and fliers.wsj.com
2,012 people are talking about this 
Multiple members of Congress called on the FAA to ground Boeing 737 Max 8 flights, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Mitt Romney✔@MittRomney
Out of an abundance of caution for the flying public, the @FAANews should ground the 737 MAX 8 until we investigate the causes of recent crashes and ensure the plane’s airworthiness.
2,964
2:06 PM - Mar 12, 2019
1,099 people are talking about this 
Richard Blumenthal✔@SenBlumenthal
The FAA & the airline industry must act quickly & decisively to protect American travelers, pilots, & flight attendants. All Boeing 737 Max 8s should be grounded until American travels can be assured that these planes are safe.
CNN✔@CNN
The Ethiopian Airlines crash, which killed 157, is the second deadly disaster involving Boeing's new 737 MAX 8 jet in less than six months.

987
1:01 AM - Mar 12, 2019.
416 people are talking about this 
Warren also called on Congress to hold hearings to determine whether President Trump’s administration was protecting Boeing.
Elizabeth Warren✔@ewarren
 Mar 12, 2019
Replying to @ewarren
The FAA itself has indicated that software updates are likely coming. Any necessary changes must be made before, not after, more flights occur and more lives are potentially endangered.
Elizabeth Warren✔@ewarren
The Boeing 737 MAX 8 is a major driver of profits. In the coming weeks and months, Congress must hold hearings on whether an administration that famously refused to stand up to Saudi Arabia to protect @Boeing arms sales has once again put lives at risk for the same reason.
1,065
7:41 PM - Mar 12, 2019
353 people are talking about this