The loss of precious, irreplaceable lives in the recent Ethiopian Airlines crash is sad; it brings a flood of heart-rending human stories to the surface. All of them were tragic, but some stand out more than others. For example, there were three Kenyan women who specialized in the care of children with cancer, Forbes reported.

On Sunday, March 10, 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed minutes after taking off from Addis Abba, killing all 157 people aboard, including the cabin crew.

What caused widespread concern was that previously another deadly crash involving another airline. The Lion Air crash occurred five months ago off the Indonesian sea, killing all 189 people on that plane. The two tragedies resulted in the grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 planes globally.

Maneuvering characteristics augmenting (MCA) system

Investigating the similarities between the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes, aviation experts suspect that the newly designed MCA System may be responsible for the two tragedies.

Boeing had introduced the new system to its 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9 fleet which, in 2017, were the newest planes in the aircraft maker's stock. In fact, the MCA system (a suite of software) was expected to increase the safety of the 737 Max 8 and 9 jets, but there is every possibility that the software has been compromised. The pilot of the Lion Air plane had complained of receiving faulty readings from the plane's sensors in its last four flights before the unfortunate crash.

CBS notes that the MCA System is an automated anti-stall software. It automatically points the nose of the plane downwards when it notices that the aircraft is experiencing stalling or could lose its lift. It is believed that the two pilots in the crashed planes might have struggled to retain the control of their aircraft from the overbearing MCA System, but they had ultimately failed to achieve that.

The human side of the tragedy

It is sometimes necessary that we explore the human side of tragedies if we really want to prevent them from occurring every now and then. The Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 had, unfortunately, claimed the lives of people that would remain irreplaceable to their families, nations, friends, and colleagues. These include:

  • Pius Adesanmi: A prolific Nigerian-Canadian columnist, social commentator, and a professor of English at the Institute of African Studies at Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada, who strongly believed in using his skills to make the world a better place.
  • Melvin and Bennett Riffel: Two American brothers from Redding, California, heading to Nairobi on vacation.
  • Sam Pegram: A 25-year-old British man working for the Norwegian Refugee Council.
  • Shikha Garg: A United Nations consultant from India.
  • Jayne Kamau, Bella Jaboma, and Dr. Grace Kariuki: Three Kenyan women who specialized in the care of children with cancer

Plus there are still another 149 victims with their unfortunate stories.

The bottom line

If we are aware of the irreparable impacts our actions could have on people, maybe we could approach things with more caution. We could desist from releasing dangerous vaccines, medications, software, devices, and other sensitive products that aren't ready for commercialization yet. Maybe we would make every effort to avoid endangering the lives of others in a circumstance or situation that is practically preventable.

Fixing whatever bugs in the MCA System and training pilots on how to handle such emergencies before now could have saved souls that shouldn't have been lost in the first place.

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