(CMR) Concerns are beginning to mount in the local community after a second Boeing 737 MAX 8 has crashed in less than six months and Cayman Airways has just acquired their second Max 8 on Thursday evening.
The plane arrived from Seattle and was piloted by Captain Steven Coe and First Officer Giselah Ebanks.
For the second time in less than six months, a brand-new Boeing aircraft has crashed just minutes into a flight.
All 157 people on board the Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa that crashed on Sunday morning have died, the airline has confirmed.The tragedy follows the Lion Air flight that went down over the Java Sea in late October, killing all 189 people on board.
There is no suggestion yet as to what caused the latest disaster, and no evidence that the two incidents are linked in causality.
What is known, however, is that both flights took place on the Boeing 737 MAX 8 — a new model recently unveiled to great fanfare by the US aviation giant, that saw its first flight less than two years ago.
“It's highly suspicious,” said Mary Schiavo, a CNN aviation analyst and the former Inspector General of the U.S. Transportation Department. “Here we have a brand-new aircraft that's gone down twice in a year. That rings alarm bells in the aviation industry, because that just doesn't happen.”
Adding to concerns are some similarities between the two flights. Both were operated by well-known airlines with strong safety records — but the Lion Air flight went down 13 minutes after take off, while Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed just six minutes into its journey.
And while the Ethiopian Airlines did not see the wild fluctuations in altitude that the Lion Air flight saw, it did dip and then regain altitude before it crashed.
“The similarities with Lion Air are too great not to be concerned,” Schiavo said.
Caymanians have taken to social media to air their concerns as well about the incidents. Thus far the government nor Cayman Airways have made any comment on the incident.