After Boeing crashes: How to know what jet you're flying on, deciding if you want to

2 Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets crash in less than 5 months, killing everyone on board

The 737 MAX, Boeing's newest model, has been been grounded by aviation authorities throughout the world after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
The 737 MAX, Boeing's newest model, has been been grounded by aviation authorities throughout the world after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

By now, you’ve likely heard an abundance of concern over the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets. That concern has made more people aware of what plane they might be flying on. But how do you find out which jet you'll be traveling on, and what can you do if you don't feel safe about it?

If you need some catching up, here’s a quick rundown.

On Oct. 29, 2018, a Lion Air flight leaving Jakarta, Indonesia, crashed into the Java Sea 12 minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 passengers and crew on board. It was a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet.

Less than five months later, an Ethiopian Airlines flight leaving Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, crashed near the town of Bishoftu, Ethiopia, just six minutes after takeoff, killing 157 people on board. It, too, was a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet.

The jets were certified by the Federal Aviation Association in March 2017, and the first one was delivered to Malaysia-based Malindo Air in May 2017.

The jets were newer and more fuel-efficient and cost-effective, but some of the updates changed the way the jet handled certain situations.

Ultimately, some pilots were caught off guard by sudden descents in the aircraft due to a new system, according to Clint Ross, a former commercial airline pilot who is now a captain at a corporate flight company.

Ross said the 737 MAX 8 jets have an automatic trim system that works when it thinks it’s going to stall.


About the Author: