Home » Lifestyle » Boeing crash victims’ families relive 'otherworldly nightmare' as 737 MAX resumes flights
Boeing crash victims’ families relive 'otherworldly nightmare' as 737 MAX resumes flights
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The Boeing 737 MAX's return to commercial flight following a nearly two-year grounding has left relatives of the 346 people killed in a pair of crashes involving the once-popular jetliner reliving their nightmare ordeals.
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"We grieve every single day but a lot of the emotions that we had, in the beginning, are starting to come out," said Brittney Riffel, who was seven months pregnant with baby Emma when she lost her husband, Melvin, and brother-in-law Bennett in the March 10, 2019, crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.
The 737 Max on which the two were traveling plummeted back to earth just minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa International Airport.
"The shortness of breath, the anxiety, the debilitating state … it is almost like it just happened," Riffel explained.
Subsequent investigations into the crash, which followed that of another Max operated by Indonesia's Lion Air in October 2018, prompted regulators worldwide to ground the aircraft, which had been the best-selling model in Boeing's history.
The Federal Aviation Administration, the air-safety regulator in the U.S., initially resisted but ultimately followed suit. Intense scrutiny ensued, focusing on both new anti-stall software intended to keep the plane from ascending at too steep an angle and the FAA's work with Boeing to certify the jetliner as flightworthy in the first place.
FAA CLEARS BOEING 737 MAX TO FLY AGAIN AFTER DEADLY 2018, 2019 CRASHES
After grueling Congressional hearings and growing concern from airline customers who spent heavily on a plane designed to compete with the overhauled A320neo from rival Airbus, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg stepped down in December, ceding the top job at the embattled planemaker to David Calhoun.