I'm Indonesian, and I came from Pangkal Pinang. Which means, some of the people inside the crash plane are my friends.
It was devastating to know that the flight I mostly flew in my entire life (I fly back and forth between Jakarta and Pangkal Pinang almost every month with particularly this flight) now ended in such traumatic situation. Fathers of my friend was also there, and the body has never been recovered until now.
Apparently, the crash was due to repeated malfunction of the AOA sensors installed on the Boeing. In essence it was caused by a malfunction or design error. Boeing knew about this possibility but decided to be mute about it. Boeing is being accused of witholding information and causing the undue death 189 victims. Boeing, under pressure, finally decided to release a bulletin instructing pilots on how to counter the proclivity of the flight-control system to push the plane into a steep dive once there is a failure in the Angle-of-attack (AOA) sensor.
Imagine if this had been a Russian plane? The Ukrainian plane-maker, Antonov, had its An148 owned by Saratov crashed under eerily similar circumstance and guess what? Antonov was pilloried and declared unsafe!! Somehow the standards are always different when American companies screw up! I am just sick of the double standards.
While the crash is certainly a tragedy, I would be cautious to declare a whole type of aircraft unsafe on some preliminary reports. I do hope that the investigation will find the reason(s) and correct any system design faults to prevent further accidents.
It is clear that Boeing goofed up and they are trying to avoid taking responsibility.
Here is a snippet from comment on the link you gave:
"Based on what is coming out about the automatic trim, Boeing must be counting its lucky stars that this incident happened to Lion Air and not to an American aircraft. If this had happened in the US, I’m pretty sure the fleet would have been grounded by the FAA and the class action lawyers would be lined up outside the door to get their many pounds of flesh.
This is quite the wake-up call for Boeing."
My question is simple - why should American life be any more valuable than other lives? The FAA plays politics with this because they claim it is in “national interest” not to shake the table! Boeing deserves to suffer consequences for this action. I have always maintained that I don’t care for monopolies or even duopolies for that matter. The most painful thing for me in the Aviation industry is when the US/Trump administration leaned so heavily on Bombardier and forced them to crack under pressure so that they had to sell that brilliant product program to Airbus for nothing! It is a travesty! In trying to destroy the competition, they ended up benefiting their rival. It is extremely painful cos the World would have been better off with a third axis from Bombardier and ultimately, we would have had better choices! Now we are never going to see a CS500 - what a shame!
I truly believe, it doesn’t make a difference. Boeing (as any big company) obviously has to deny any responsibility (ethically very troublesome). US lawyers might already be flying to Asia to try to find relatives that they can assist in a law suit in the US. These vultures will certainly not give up an easy prey.
And as much as I like(d) the CSeries, I believe Bombardier wouldnt have been able to make it a success alone, with or without Boeings bullying. There is too much wrong, the company has too much debt and this project was definitely two shoe sizes too big for them to stem. If they had managed to ramp up the production and churn out those gems in numbers by now, I’d be quiet. But they keep missing any estimate they communicate, and the complete lack of sales is not very promising. If the aircraft was that good, it would sell. Possibly the whole package (incl. the service, etc etc.) might be lacking and be part of the reason. The Superjet is similar in a way, but also Embraer’s sales are not stellar. Maybe the market for these regional jets is not that big?
C-Series is not flying off the shelf for a simple reason - what the market really wants is a mainline narrow body jet! Take a look at A319 and B737-700 sales too - it is equally sluggish. The market is interested in 150 seat (2 class capacity) and above! Had Bombardier been been allowed to resolve its own problems by exploring investor options, it would have eventually given the market what it wants - the CS500!. At the end of the day, it would be offering a complete family of narrow body jets and that is what Boeing wanted to prevent! Boeing saw it coming and was very afraid! Yes, C series is that good - certainly more competent that the venerable 737 and more efficient than the A320neo (IMO). Truth is both companies (Boeing & Airbus) despite having backlogs worth 6000 airplanes were very afraid of competition from Bombardier and worked steadily to undermine its effort - Boeing more so than Airbus! Without interference, Bombardier would have ended up offering a product line that was only one notch below Boeing and Airbus and this would have been alright for all!
You state yourself, the CSeries is one notch below. There is no new technology on this aircraft that justifies a significant improvement. It would have had an edge over the 737NG and A320CEO, but it was (very) late. In between, Airbus brought out the NEO and Boeing the MAX, erasing any benefit of the CSeries.
Due to the very high volume and low purchasing cost for the components, the pricing of those bigger aircraft has much more room to play. Besides a more efficient production, same type rating (i.e. cost savings for the airline), superb service and more contributes to more advantages for A+B.
And Bombardier couldnt find any more financing, no investor was willing to risk their money. That’s why Quebec had to prevent an early bankruptcy. Bombardier would never have had the funds to develop the CS500. They couldn’t even survive with the two existing models already developed.
B737 is a 50 year old air frame. Airbus A320 is 30 years old! They are not exactly very competitive by modern standards and that is why they loathe (hate) to see any competition come up. The truth is that the new engines give them a new lease on life but the air frames limits the potentials of the engine. The CS series is far lighter and more efficient air frame - this has already been analysed numerous times by experts.