Widow of Irishman tragically killed in Ethiopian Airlines crash launches legal action against Boeing

Widow of Irishman tragically killed in Ethiopian Airlines crash launches legal action against Boeing

THE WIDOW of Micheál Ryan, an Irish father-of-two who died when the Ethiopian Airlines flight he was travelling on crashed minutes after takeoff, has launched a civil case against Boeing. 

Ryan, an engineer with the United Nations’ World Food Programme from Lahinch in Co Clare, was among the 157 people on board the Boeing 737 Max Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 which took off from Addis Adaba for Nairobi in Kenya on March 10, 2019. 

The plane went down six minutes after take-off, with Boeing 737 Max planes grounded worldwide in the wake of the disaster, which came six months after another crash involving the same make of aircraft where 189 people died. 

It took seven months for Ryan's family to receive his repatriated remains following the disaster but they are still seeking answers and justice for Ryan. 

His widow Naoise Connolly Ryan has launched legal proceedings because she “has to go after the truth” have been left dissatisfied with the handling of an investigation into the crash. 

Speaking on RTE Radio One’s Today with Claire Byrne Naoise said she wants to know “what they knew, who knew what, and when” after the similar crash reported five months prior to the one that cost her husband his life. 

Both crashes were linked to a fault with the onboard Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). Following the first crash the Federal Aviation Administration had warned as many as 15 more crashes could happen because of an issue with MCAS. 

While Boeing plans used by American Airlines came with two sensors, airlines purchasing the aircraft overseas were given an option of one or two sensors. 

Mick Ryan

Naoise said: “A minimum of two sensors installed is standard. 

“These sensors are like little weather vanes … that’s what sends the information to the MCAS. If they’re faulty, they send incorrect information and MCAS kicks in and takes over the plane, so the pilots have no control.” 

Despite Boeing being hit with a $2.5bn fine, Ryan’s widow is frustrated that  “mobody has been held to account.” 

“Our lives have been completely turned upside down,” she explained. 

“All the dreams that we had as a family have turned into an absolute nightmare. 

“The last two years have been incredibly difficult for all of us, but the support of family and friends has really helped us through, and I just try and keep focused on what Mick would want for us and to somehow keep moving forward. 

“I really do draw my strength from Mick. He brought so much joy to our lives and I try and tap into that joy whenever and wherever I can.”