Mon | Jul 26, 2021

Ethiopia crew followed Boeing procedures - Preliminary report

Published:Thursday | April 4, 2019 | 10:41 AM
In this March 11, 2019, file photo, wreckage is piled at the crash scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, Ethiopia. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene, File)

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — The pilots of a doomed Ethiopian Airlines jet followed all of Boeing’s recommended procedures when the plane started to nose dive but still couldn’t save it, according to findings from a preliminary report released Thursday by the Ethiopian government.

The plane crashed just six minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board.

The report, based on flight data and cockpit voice recorders on the Boeing 737 Max 8, was not released in full. Boeing declined to comment pending its review of the report on the March 10 crash.

The Max 8 has been under scrutiny since a Lion Air flight crashed off the coast of Indonesia under similar circumstances in October.

Thursday’s revelations raise questions about repeated assertions by Boeing and U.S. regulators that pilots could regain control in some emergencies by following steps that include turning off an anti-stall system designed specifically for the Max, known by its acronym, MCAS.

Investigators are looking into the role of MCAS, which under some circumstances can automatically lower the plane’s nose to prevent an aerodynamic stall.

The Max has been grounded worldwide pending a software fix that Boeing is rolling out, which still needs to be approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and other regulators.

Ethiopian investigators did not specifically mention the MCAS, but recommended that Boeing review “the aircraft flight control system related to the flight controllability.”

They also recommended that aviation officials verify that issues have been adequately addressed before allowing the planes to fly again.

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