By Chioma Obinagwam
The crash of the Boeing 737 Max 8 of the Ethiopian Airline, where all the passengers on board the aircraft lost their lives has been raising safety concerns among all and sundry.
Confiance News has culled 10 important facts you should know before boarding a Boeing 737 Max airplane in case you intend to board the aircraft.
1) It was first manufactured on January 29, 2016 by Boeing Airplanes, United States but had its first commercial filght by May 22, 2017, for Malindo Air, operating from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.
2) It is a narrow-body passenger aircraft with a bigger engine and lesser fuel consumption achieved through the use of Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) software that uses sensors that could automatically move the nose of the plane up or down or in any direction that it seems fit if dictects that the plane is at risk of stalling (stoping) from going too slow or flying too steeply into a climb. The sensors also indicate to the pilot these directions and could override the pilot’s manual command.
3) It has recorded two crashes since its production- the first was on October 29, 2018 by Lion Air in Indonesia and the second is by Ethiopian Airlines on March 10, 2019.
4) Both planes crashed less than 13 minutes after take-off.
5) Both planes killed all passengers and crew members on board. 189 died in the October 29, 2018 crash and 157 in the March 10, 2019 crash. Totalling 346 lives among over 30 Nationals.
6) They were all brand new planes.
7) It is pretty expensive to purchase, the unit cost of a Boeing 737 Max 8, according to Wikipedia is US$117.1 million. So far, 350 orders of the 737 Max family out of 5,111 orders have been delivered the Boeing firm’s customers.
8) The top three identified airline customers for the 737 MAX are Southwest Airlines with 280 orders, flydubai with 251 orders, and Lion Air with 251 orders.
9) Boeing 737 Max major competitor is Airbus A320neo manufactured by Airbus.
10) Boeing 737 Max 8 is currently facing safety concerns from customers leading to temporary grounding of the airplanes while awaiting results of the investigation on the ill-fated flight ET302.
By Chioma Obinagwam