Request a Free Consultation

Boeing 737 Crashes: What You Need to Know

Updated May 6, 2024 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

Airplane and other aviation accidents are less common than you might think, but when plane crashes occur, they are often fatal.

Unfortunately, this worst-case scenario was the reality for two commercial passenger plane crashes involving Boeing 737s.

Fatal Boeing 737 Accidents

Both of these fatal accidents occurred within a six-month period and resulted in 346 fatalities.

Lion Air Flight 610

On October 29, 2018, the pilot of a Boeing 737 Max 8 requested an immediate return to airport just minutes after departing from Jakarta, Indonesia. Following that request, contact with the airplane was lost.

Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea at a steep nosedive. None of its 189 passengers and flight crew survived.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302

A few months later, on March 10, 2019, a Boeing 737 Max 8 departing from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, also crashed at a nose-down angle and killed all 157 passengers and flight crew.

In circumstances frighteningly similar to Lion Air Flight 610, the pilot of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 declared an in-flight emergency just minutes after takeoff; minutes later, it crashed.

Flight Safety Systems at Fault

Determining fault and the investigating aviation accidents is extremely complicated and involve several parties. In the cases of the two Boeing 737 Max 8 plane crashes, however, evidence (including the clear similarities between the accidents) has led investigators to put the blame on malfunctioning flight control systems.

Flight control systems allow the flight crew to control the aircraft. This electronic hardware and software is, obviously, crucial to a pilot’s ability to fly a plane. The manufacturer, The Boeing Company, is under intense scrutiny for these potential defects.

National and Global Response

Boeing 737 Max 8s have been grounded in the United States since March, and other countries around the world have also stopped flying the planes. Boeing has committed to a software fix for the malfunctioning flight control systems, and the Federal Aviation Administration is preparing to start flight trials of the proposed safety modifications as early as this week.

Contact an Aviation Accident Attorney Today

Two of our attorneys at WKW are licensed pilots with a wide range of ratings and experience. Both pilots hold a commercial license, flight engineer certificate, instrument and multi-engine aircraft ratings as well as flight experience in Boeing 727s and many private aircraft.

If you or a loved one have been in an accident involving any type of aircraft, our legal team and aviation experts can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

Contact Us

Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.


Or, call us today at (317) 920-6400

Located In Indianapolis
Back to Top