The fatal crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 has resulted in the worldwide grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Investigators are probing the crash and another like it that occurred less than five months earlier in Indonesia.
As an experienced airline pilot, aircraft accident investigator and professor of aviation, I know that such major crash investigations are an enormous effort often involving many countries’ governments and input from dozens of industry partners. The inquiries can take months of painstaking work. They often yield important insights that improve flight safety for everyone long into the future. Here’s how an investigation generally goes.