Seattle - The recent crashes of two brand-new Boeing 737 MAX 8 caused uncertainty and dismay worldwide. If two almost new aircraft of the same type crash at short intervals just after takeoff at a comparable flight altitude, alarm bells ring.
We are only at the beginning of an investigation and we have to be very careful about what we have in hand. We are strongly loyal to our "respect" principle, while speculating about the possible causes of the recent, fatal Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashes in just a few months.
But in the current state, there are several common elements with the Lion Air flight 610, which crashed into the Java Sea on Oct. 29, 2018, after a few minutes from takeoff.
First, both aircraft are of the same type and they are almost new. In both cases, the pilots reported problems with the airspeed and asked ATC to return.
The similarities between the two accidents bring to mind the possibility of a flight control software problem or a design problem, or both.
The engines of the 737 MAX 8 jets are larger than its predecessor Boeing 737-800 and the Boeing's new jet behaves quite differently than the 737-800.
The 737 MAX has a new software that manages the electrical flight controls.
During the certification process of the aircraft, Boeing spotted an instability problem due to the larger and heavier engines of the aircraft, particularly at low speeds, and corrected it with a patch to the flight control software. But if there is a problem in design, the software updates wouldn't solve it completely.
Below there is an illustration explaining how the system works.
The data retrieved from the FDRs (Flight Data Recorder) of the Flight 302 and Flight 610 and the evaluation of the similarities between two accidents will most likely reveal the main cause of the problem.