Court says British Boeing 737 MAX 8 crash victims were ‘unlawfully killed’

ethiopian airlines boeing 737 max 8
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Three British passengers who were aboard the Boeing 737 MAX 8 Ethiopian Airlines plane when it crashed in 2019 were “unlawfully killed,” a UK coroner has ruled. 

Sam Pegram, Oliver Vick and Joanna Toole were all travelling on the aircraft from Addis Ababa to Kenya when the plane went down just six minutes after take-off on March 10, 2019. 

According to the BBC, West Sussex coroner Penelope Schofield said the incident happened after a series of failures relating to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System. 

A sensor failure meant that flight control software initiated at the wrong time and forced the plane to dive despite the pilots attempts to level the aircraft.  

The disaster, in which 157 died, came just months after a Lion Air 737 MAX aircraft crashed in October 2018 killing 189 people on board.  

Following the Ethiopian Airlines crash the Boeing 737 MAX 8 was grounded for almost two years.  

However, three days past before the 737 MAX was grounded in the United States (US). 

In May 2023, a US judge ruled that relatives of those killed in the Ethiopian Airlines crash can claim compensation. 

The judge said the relatives will be allowed to make claims for the pain and suffering experienced by loved ones before impact. 

“There is sufficient evidence to support a reasonable inference that these passengers experienced pre-impact fright and terror, and that experience is part of the ‘process or manner of death,’” US District Judge Jorge L. Alonso wrote in his ruling. 

AeroTime has contacted Boeing for comment.  

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