Boeing 737 Crashes…Again

Chinese Eastern Airline Boing 737 crashes in the mountains of Guangxi, leaving 132 dead.

Boeing+737-800+model+from+Air+China%2C+these+planes+are+known+for+their+safety+so+a+crash+seemed+almost+impossible., CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Boeing 737-800 model from Air China, these planes are known for their safety so a crash seemed almost impossible.

Model plane of a Boeing 737 airplane. This is the base model of the plane, though minor changes can be seen in different models.

On March 21st, 2022, the Chinese Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane crashed near the mountains of Guangxi region on its way to Guangzhou. This fatal crash left 132 dead, 123 passengers and 9 crew members. The flight left at 1:11 P.M. in China, 1:11 A.M. eastern time, and less than an hour later, flight tracking reports showed the flight plummeting 29,000 feet (about the cruising altitude of a commercial jet) in two minutes.

This is not the first time a Boeing plane has had software or mechanical issues and crashed, and it is not the first time the plane has been a 737 model.   Looking at previous incidents, we can hazard some guesses about what could have gone wrong. The 2018 and 2019 crashes were caused by single faulty sensors in the software system. Boeing has been known to have trouble with their software system before and has even cost the company billions of dollars’ worth of damages and lawsuits leading to the CEO stepping down in 2019. While there is as yet no conclusive evidence that a software issue was the cause of the most recent crash, there is a high possibility that this is the case. 

Famous podcaster and twitter user @lilsasquatch, is a known plane advocate and has an extensive knowledge on Boeing plane crashes regarding the 737 base model. We asked Lil Sasquatch what his thoughts were on the previous software issue with the Boeing 747-MAX models and if he thinks it was a factor in the China Eastern Airlines Crash on Monday, March 21st. Sasquatch responded, “Yeah I mean I think that the biggest thing here that a lot of people don’t get is that the two previous crashes highlighted in the Netflix ‘The Downfall’ documentary were Boeing 737-MAX planes, which had the MCAS system equipped which caused the crashes. This crash wasn’t a 737-MAX; it was a 737-800, which is one of the safest and most used planes in passenger flights. I personally wouldn’t be surprised at all if this crash was intentional, a suicide perhaps. I obviously don’t know any of the details of what happened I just saw the video, but in the video you can that the plane crashed at a complete vertical nose dive, which is very uncommon.” Lil Sasquatch is not an aerospace engineer, so he can’t give many specifics, but he is known for his love for planes and his knowledge of the previous years’ Boeing crashes, which he has talked about on his Podcast, Son of a Boy Dad.

Twitter user and podcaster, Lil Sasquatch. An avid plane connoisseur and college dropout. (Lil Sasquatch)

The Boeing 737 model has been around for fifty-four years.  With minor improvements in design and name changes, one thing has stayed the same: the crashes and fatalities.

The first plane crash for the Boeing 737 happened in 1970 during an aborted takeoff, luckily there were no passengers, but the crash was still devastating and led to a lack of trust in Boeing. The first fatal Boeing 737 crash happened in 1972 when the plane crashed during landing and led to 45 deaths. This was the start of decades of Boeing 737 failure and defects.

In 2018 and 2019, two separate crashes of Boeing 737 MAX planes, resulting in combined 346 deaths, this ultimately led to the worldwide grounding of Boeing 737 MAX planes until December 2020. 

Boeing has been a prominent Aircraft manufacturer since 1916, when the company was founded. Boeing was a trusted company and supplier of the United States Government, so these extreme malfunctions and fatalities seemed like flukes at first. However, as the planes continue to malfunction Boeing is becoming less and less trusted. The company claims these issues are flukes and that their products are safe and reliable, but as we continue to see the planes crash and people die, apologies become less and less meaningful.  

As of now no news has come out regarding the cause of the March 21st crash, but the search for the “black box” flight recorders continues, in hopes of uncovering the cause of this tragic event.