The Boeing 737 MAX crisis is without equal. Not since April 1954 and the de Havilland DH.106 Comet has a commercial airliner been grounded for such a substantial length of time. Back then, the Comet had ushered in the jet age less than two years earlier. Sixty years later, the aviation world has changed beyond recognition, yet parallels remain. Martin Needham considers Boeing’s annus horribilis as it battles to return the 737 MAX to service and the company to stability.