Chicago Army captain among eight Americans killed in horrific Ethiopian Airlines plane crash

A U.S. Army captain from south suburban Matteson was among the 157 people killed in a plane crash in Ethiopia on Sunday.

Antoine Lewis, 40, was one of 157 people who was killed when the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 headed for Nairobi went down minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Sunday morning. There were no survivors.

Antoine Lewis

Lewis was on vacation in Africa, taking a flight from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Nairobi, Kenya, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed on Sunday, killing everyone on board.

Lewis, who served in Afghanistan, leaves behind a wife and 15-year-old son.

Lewis was the third generation in his family to enlist in the Army. He was doing Christian missionary work in Africa at the time of his death, according to WGN.

Chicago Army captain among eight Americans killed in horrific Ethiopian Airlines plane crash

Antoine’s parents said they will remember him as a father and a family man. He was married last year. He also leaves behind a 15-year-old son. Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were in Ethiopia to help with the investigation of the crash.

One witness told the Associated Press they saw smoke coming from the back of the plane before the crash. They said the plane rotated twice in the air before hitting the ground and exploding.

It was the second crash involving a Boeing 737 Max 8 in less than five months.

The 737 Max 8 has been flown since 2017, and the FAA said about 350 of the planes are in operation around the world.

The FAA is not grounding the 737 Max 8, but is ordering Chicago-based Boeing to begin safety-related software enhancements on those planes by next month.

Those changes have been in the works since a Lion Air 737 Max 8 plunged into the Java Sea off Indonesia in October, killing all 189 people on board.

One of the changes includes updates to the anti-stall system, which automatically points the plane’s nose down if sensors find the plane could be in danger of losing lift.

 

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