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“Corporate Homicide”: Ralph Nader Demands Boeing Recall Jets After Ethiopia Crash Kills His Niece

Published: April 6, 2019
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A wrongful death case was filed against Boeing on the same day that a preliminary investigation into last month’s Ethiopian Airlines crash revealed damning details about the aircraft manufacturer and raised new questions about whether it gave pilots proper instructions for navigating new software. The findings were released Thursday in Ethiopia, based on the analysis of a team of 18 investigators, less than a month after the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash killed all 157 people on board.

The report found similarities in the technical issues experienced by pilots on both the Ethiopian Airlines flight and October’s Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610, which also crashed just minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board. Both flights were on a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

On Thursday, the first American lawsuit related to the devastating crash was filed against Boeing on behalf of the family of 24-year-old Samya Stumo, who died on the flight. Samya was the grandniece of Ralph Nader, the longtime consumer advocate, corporate critic and former presidential candidate. We speak with Nader about his calls to ground all 737 MAX 8 aircraft and the legacy of his grandniece. We also speak with Paul Hudson, the president of Flyers Rights, the largest nonprofit airline passenger rights organization in the U.S.

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The two doomed Boeing 737s which crashed under similar conditions lacked optional safety features that the aircraft manufacturer will now make standard, according to the New York Times. For Boeing and other aircraft manufacturers, the practice of charging to upgrade a standard plane can be lucrative. Top airlines around the world must pay handsomely to have the jets they order fitted with customized add-ons.

As we detailed earlier, in perhaps the least surprising headline of the weekend, preliminary data retrieved from the flight data recorder of the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed shows "a clear similarity" with an earlier disaster in Indonesia, Ethiopia's transport minister said Sunday.

A Boeing 737 MAX 8 owned by Ethiopian Airlines seemingly dropped out of the sky on Sunday not far from the Addis Abba airport where it took off on a flight to Nairobi, Kenya, killing nearly 160 passengers and crew (there were no survivors) and raising serious questions about the jet model's safety.

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