BETWEEN TWO BOEING CRASHES, DAYS OF SILENCE AND MISTRUST

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JAKARTA, Indonesia — When a new Boeing 737 Max 8 plunged into the waters off Indonesia last October, a terrifying mystery confronted the aviation industry: What could have caused Lion Air Flight 610, flown by experienced pilots in good weather, to fall out of the sky just 12 minutes after takeoff?

But it took the second, equally terrifying crash of an identical aircraft under similar conditions five months later, in Ethiopia, to reveal the climate of mistrust that has plagued inquiries into what caused the first disaster.

Interviews with government officials, aviation experts and company executives portray an environment in which Lion Air, Boeing, subcontractors, investigators and regulators erected walls to sharing information that seemed designed more for self-preservation than finding the truth about a crash that claimed 189 lives.

As each party involved in the crash focused on passing the blame, rather than trading information about the Max’s new anti-stall system or disseminating important details about the investigation, airlines, passengers and even Indonesian regulators were left in the dark.

Source: Newyork Times

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