Ethiopian Airlines crew 'followed rules, unable to control jet'

Saul Bowman
April 6, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump followed suit and grounded all Boeing 737 Max planes. All 346 people on the two planes were killed.

The software reacts when sensors in the nose of the aircraft show the jet is climbing at too steep an angle, which can cause a plane to stall.

The report says the Boeing 737 Max 8 had normal certification and the crew was certified for flying this aircraft and had the necessary training, officials said. It also advised that aviation authorities should confirm the problem had been solved before allowing the 737 Max back into the air.

Responding to the report Ethiopian Airlines chief executive, Tewolde GebreMariam, praised the pilots.

The preliminary report did not attribute blame for the crash with a more detailed analysis of the flight expected to follow.

However, the plane experienced "uncommanded nose-down conditions" after takeoff.

The Max has been grounded worldwide pending a software fix that Boeing is rolling out, which must still receive approval from the Federal Aviation Administration and other regulators. A Lion Air Boeing airplane also crashed in October 2018, in what analysts are calling a potentially similar series of events involving the malfunction of the plane's Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) system.

Boeing on Wednesday claimed to have successfully tested its new software update for the 737 MAX 7 jet.

"Time is needed for additional work by Boeing as the result of an ongoing review of the 737 MAX Flight Control System to ensure that Boeing has identified and appropriately addressed all pertinent issues", the FAA wrote.

The Ethiopian Airlines flight was headed to Nairobi on a clear morning on March 10 when it plummeted nose-first into a field outside Addis Ababa just minutes after take-off, having reportedly experienced erratic steep climbs and descents.

UAE to validate any Boeing MAX fix before lifting airspace ban

The statement did not say if the FAA would review the Max's flight control system as recommended by Ethiopian investigators, and FAA spokesman Greg Martin would not comment beyond the statement. "Flight crews will always have the ability to override MCAS and manually control the airplane", the company said.

Boeing, the leading U.S. aerospace manufacturer, and its principal regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration, have come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks over claims their relationship is too cozy.

The full report into the crash will be released within a year, Moges said.

The Transport Ministry said the full preliminary report will be released on its website today or tomorrow.

Africa's only consistently profitable carrier, Ethiopian has built Addis Ababa into a major hub feeding travelers from around the world into dozens of African cities in competition with rivals such as Dubai-based Emirates.

- The U.S. Justice Department is also looking at the FAA's oversight of Boeing, a person familiar with the matter has said.

Samya Stumo, 24, was the niece of consumer activist Ralph Nader, who became famous in the 1960s for skewering the US Federal Trade Commission over the regulator's shortcomings in policing serious safety problems in the auto industry.

We at Boeing are sorry for the lives lost in the recent 737 MAX accidents.

FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell has said the agency "welcomes external review of our systems, processes and recommendations". She added that an global team investigating the crash includes the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S., France's BEA and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.


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