The crash of a Boeing 737 Max jet liner in Ethiopia this week has raised disturbing questions about the safety of this plane. Minutes after the plane took off, it plunged to the ground, killing all 157 people on board. Just five months ago, a Boeing 737 Max crashed in Indonesia with no survivors. As a result, all units of this aircraft model have been grounded around the world.
Commercial aircraft accidents require thorough, painstaking investigation
Though it is too early to say with certainty what caused the latest 737 Max crash, speculation centers around the plane's automated anti-stall software. This takes control of the plane away from the pilots at critical moments during takeoff.
The investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and other government authorities is likely to last for months. While the cause of some aviation accidents is relatively straight-forward, many require intense and complex investigations. In a jet crash case, the list of possible causes is long and includes airframe failure, a defective component, pilot error, a freak weather event, and terrorism. Each possibility must be carefully investigated before it can be ruled out as the cause of the crash.
If the anti-stall software really is to blame, likely defendants in litigation could include not only Boeing, but all other consultants and software companies involved in the software development project.
In the meantime, the grief of family members of the victims will continue. They victims of these crashes may be eligible for monetary compensation for the loss of their loved ones. They should speak with an attorney about their legal options as soon as possible.