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How safe is the Boeing 737 after one crashed in China?

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2022 | Accidents & Incidents

A Chinese airplane with 123 passengers and nine crew members crashed on March 21, 2022. The airplane was at about 30,000 and going 523 mph. Hundreds of firefighters put the fire out. After 18 hours there haven’t been any survivors found and the plane disintegrated. The airplane was a Boeing 737-800. Boeing has had criticism about their 737 Max planes out of Chicago, Illinois, and beyond.

How many Boeing 737-800 planes are active?

Boeing 737-800 has been active for almost 20 years. It’s one of the most common planes, and most are in service in the US, Europe and Asia. Southwest Airlines is the nation’s largest domestic carrier and flies Boeing 737 exclusively. Southwest Airlines had 207 Boeing 737-800, and their fleet was 728 by the end of 2021. The next three largest airlines were American Airlines with 267 737-800s, United with 141 and delta with 77. The four major airlines have about 700 737-800s, and there are about 200 in the sky at a time. Aviation accidents are low compared to the number of active airplanes in service.

The differences between Boeing 737-800 and Boeing 737 Max

The Boeing 737 Max had two international plane crashes in 2018 and 2019, resulting in 346 deaths. Boeing 737 Max was out of service while Boeing made several changes to make them safer. The Federal Aviation Administration recertified the Boeing 737 Max in December 2020. The planes aren’t used in mainland China yet but are in service in the US. The main difference between a Boeing 737-800 and a Boeing 737 Max is the location of the engines. The Boeing 737 Max is more fuel-efficient than the 737-800.

Is the Boeing 737-800 safe?

The Boeing 737-800 is part of the next generation of the company but has had some issues over the years. There were FAA inspections of the 737 NGs in 2019 where they found cracks in wing supports. There were no ongoing areas of concern for the Boeing 737 Max, which have a good safety record. After aviation accidents, the public worries about flying, but the Boeing 737 is a safe aircraft.

Video of the Chinese plane crash showed the plane in a straight nosedive, which could indicate the crew lost control. A system failure is one of the only times people would see a plane in a nosedive, but the black box probably didn’t survive an impact like that. The plane dropped from 30,000 feet to 9,000 feet in under three minutes, which isn’t normal. Boeing is working with the Chinese investigators on the aviation accident.