Coincidence…or Faulty Mechanics?

Annika Jansen

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On Monday October 29th, 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 boarded 181 passengers of men, women, children, and eight crew members, 189 people in total. All were completely oblivious of the horror they would soon face, which would change their lives forever.

The Boeing 737 Max jet took off the ground from the Jakarta Indonesian Airport at 6:20 am as the sun started to rise in the sky, headed for Pangkal Pinang.  However, the flight never made it to its destination. Twelve minutes after takeoff a quiet hum soon changed to a shrieking sound as the plane headed towards the earth at hundreds of miles per hour. In just a few horrific moments, the plane had smashed into the Java Sea killing the 189 people aboard, and leaving no survivors. In an article from The Atlantic, a witness stated,  “You could feel the explosion from the shock wave in the water, I thought it was thunder, but it was different from thunder – ‘Boom!’ – It was loud.” Many bystanders watched as the lives of nearly hundreds were torn away from them.

Incidents like these which have great impacts on hundreds (or even thousands) of people are not taken lightly.  Speculations about what could have caused this horrific tragedy ranged drastically. Not having a definite answer to the incident left the people affected by the crash distraught and confused. Lion Air Chief Executive Edward Sirait from Business Insider explained, “We don’t dare to say what the facts are, or are not, yet, [and] we are also confused about the why, since it was a new plane.” Many questions were left unanswered.

Nearly five months later, another plane of the same type, Boeing 737 Max, took off from the bustling Addis Ababa airport. The Ethiopian Airlines, flight 302, took off on Sunday March 10th. Only six minutes after takeoff, the plane sped towards the ground, leaving no passenger aboard the chance for survival.  All 157 people aboard the flight were killed instantly. Turn Buzuna, a farmer who lives 300 meters from the crash site, says on The Atlantic, he heard a rattling noise. “Everyone says they have never heard such a sound from an airplane,” he reports.  Another farmer who was close to the crash site, Malka Galato, commented on the Business Insider, “The aircraft was close to the ground and made a turn. Grazing cows ran away in a panic”.

After the second crash, over 300 Boeing 737 Max passenger jets were grounded worldwide, affecting millions of travelers all over.  The cause of the two crashes have been speculated to have been caused by many different things; however investigators are focused on a specific tech feature that may have forced both planes into a nosedive seconds before the crashes. At the moment, nothing has been confirmed, and the people who were affected by these tragedies still do not have answers.  Events like these impact thousands of people, making the need for definite answers and solutions critical.