A China Eastern Boeing 737-800 crashed in southern China today, killing all 123 on board, according to media reports around the world.
This twin-engine plane, part of a fleet that was in use since 2015, reportedly went down in a forested area minutes after something went wrong following a deep dive from about 30,000 feet, according to FlightRadar24.com, a flight-tracking data website.
“We need to know more information before any conclusions are made regarding this sudden and tragic crash,” said Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner at Clifford Law Offices in Chicago who serves as Lead Counsel in the pending litigation in federal district court on the Boeing crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 that crash three years ago this month shortly after takeoff killing all 157 onboard. “This type of crash on a six-year-old plane that was designed and certified in the 1990s is quite unusual.”
Clifford went on to say that families of those who lost loved ones in the ET302 Boeing crash three years ago still await the final report from Ethiopian authorities on the cause of that crash. “Assuming the report is an objective, deep dive into the cause, the Ethiopian report will show that the airline called Boeing after the first crash of the Boeing 737 MAX, and authorities were not told of the problem with the MCAS system that could have avoided the second crash in Ethiopia.”
The next version of the Boeing 737-900, the MAX 8, was a new plane that crashed in the Java Sea off of Indonesia shortly after takeoff in October 2018, killing all 189 onboard. Just five months later, another 737 MAX crashed in Ethiopia that included people from 35 countries including America and Canada. Clifford Law Offices represents more than 70 people on board that flight including four passengers from mainland China as well as a passenger from Hong Kong and a Chinese national from Canada.
Investigators have found that a new software system, MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristic Augmentation System), of which pilots were not told or trained on, was the cause of those two crashes. A jury trial starts today in Texas against a former Boeing chief technical pilot Mark Forkner who is criminally charged with misleading safety regulators and airlines about the 737 Max and using his experience work for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to manipulate the agency into lowering training requirements for pilots. The FAA certifies planes for flight.
Opening statements were made Friday by prosecutors who stated Forkner didn’t notify the FAA about the changes in an effort to save Boeing hundreds of millions of dollars the airline manufacturer would have otherwise spent on delivery delays and compensating airlines for in-person pilot simulator training.