Boeing 737 could be the unsafest planes in the African skies, former NTV investigative journalist Dennis Onsarigo has warned.
In a long Instagram post, Onsarigo says that Boeing, the manufacturer of the Boeing airliners had taken a shortcut in assembling the new Boeing 737 NG ( Next Generation) series planes.
“Instead of the manufacturer assembling the aircrafts electronically they manually fitted them because the original parts were either too big or too small. Between 1996 and 2004 ill-fitting, illegal and dangerous parts were assembled on to many of the most commonly-used passenger planes in the world today,” posted Onsarigo, referring to an investigation done by Aljazeera.
Onsarigo states that most of these airlines after clocking air miles were sold to Africa and many African countries bought them since it is expensive to purchase a brand new Boeing.
“The senior Aljazeera manager stunned us by saying that in the next twenty five years, one Boeing after another illegally assembled planes will start falling off the skies… by the time Aljazeera was documenting their year-long investigation, at least three planes had crashed minutes after taking off,” he adds.
In the investigation, it was discovered that whenever a Boeing plane was involved in an accident, it broke into three distinct pieces leaving the fuselage – the main body of the aircraft – intact.
This was attributed to the fact that the design of the fuselage was not tampered with, “it what was added to it – the other parts of the plane-that over time came off”.
According to the journo, if the Ethiopian Airline plane that crashed today – a Boeing 737- disintegrated into three pieces as the same happened to yet another Boeing 737Max five months ago, “then there might be a conversation about this safest mode of transport around the world”.
Investigations in Ethiopia as to what caused the crash of the Ethipian Airline plne that claimed the lives of 157 people, including 32 Kenyans.
“At this stage, we cannot rule out anything,” Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told reporters at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa.
“We cannot also attribute the cause to anything because we will have to comply with the international regulation to wait for the investigation.”
The manufacture of the plane, Boeing, has said that it is “deeply saddened” to learn of the death of all the passengers and crew on its 737 MAX airplane.
“Boeing is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 MAX 8 airplane. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team. A Boeing technical team is prepared to provide technical assistance at the request and under the direction of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board,” said the manufacturer in a statement.
The 737 Max-8 aircraft is relatively new to the skies, having been launched in 2016. It was added to the Ethiopian Airlines fleet in July last year.
Another plane of the same model was involved in a crash five months ago, when a Lion Air flight crashed into the sea near Indonesia with nearly 190 people on board.
According to reports by the BBC, pilots of last year’s ill-fate aircraft had appeared to struggle with an automated system designed to keep the plane from stalling – a new feature of the Boeing 737 Max.
The anti-stalling system repeatedly forced the plane’s nose down, despite efforts by pilots to correct this.