On March 10th, 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed a few minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board. This followed the October crash of Lion Air Flight 610 in Indonesia that killed all 189 passengers and crew. The plane involved in both crashes is the Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliner, one of the best-selling airplanes in history.
In response, airline regulators around the world have grounded the plane as investigators continue to sift through the wreckage of both crashes to determine what went wrong. That investigation is ongoing, but it has focused on the Max 8’s stall-prevention system, apparent maintenance lapses, and potential pilot error.
Boeing’s response has been to update the Max 8’s flight control systems, pilot displays, operation manuals, and crew training. But the airline manufacturer and the Federal Aviation Administration are now facing questions about the certification, and criminal inquiries could be a result.