Ethiopian Airlines Crash Eerily Similar to Earlier Air Disaster

Ethiopian Airlines Crash Eerily Similar to Earlier Air Disaster | Pintas & Mullins Law Firm

News that Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 had crashed on Sunday, killing 157 people, had barely begun to sink in when stories started to emerge that the crash was eerily similar to a Lion Air disaster that occurred last October in Indonesia.


The planes in both crashes were Boeing’s brand new 737 Max jets. Pilots, engineers, industry analysts, and even passengers quickly recognized how rare it was for two planes of the same model to go down in such a short time span.


Dozens of countries – including the U.S. – have reacted to the Ethiopian plane crash by grounding the 737 Max aircraft. That response is admirable. But it is not enough. Those who lost a loved one are asking how they can sue an airline if it crashes.

Background: 737 Max Represents Big Dollars, But Had Big Issues

The 737 Max was Boeing’s response to an update that European aircraft manufacturer Airbus unveiled for its popular A320 jet. Unlike earlier versions of the more efficient engine, though, the Max engine was bigger and required updated software for the flight control system. After the Lion Air crash, some aviation experts pointed out that the software change had not been adequately explained to pilots.  


Pilots have since been informed of the Max’s new software system by Boeing and regulatory agencies. But while information on the Ethiopian flight is still sketchy, what is known so far does not rule out pilot error or a malfunction in the system.


For Boeing, questions about the crash go directly to the heart of its business. A workhorse for airlines worldwide, the 737 Max is Boeing’s best-selling plane ever. By the end of January, Boeing had delivered more than 350 of the Max jets. With a list price of about $120 million and more than 5,000 Max jets on order, the Max clearly represents big business for Boeing.

What You Can Do If You Lost a Loved One

While the Ethiopian plane crash is already having a huge impact on Boeing’s business, it is nothing compared to the impact it has had on the families of the crash victims. The doomed flight was carrying passengers from more than 30 countries. Among the victims were 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians, and seven Britons.

If you are the spouse, parent, or sibling of a loved one lost in the Ethiopian Airlines crash, we urge you to contact an aviation lawyer. For more information on what you can do, talk to the airplane accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today. All consultations are free. Visit or call 800-794-0444.