Plane controls responsible for Ethiopia crash

06 April, 2019, 06:47 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • Ethiopian Air pilots turned off 737 MAX anti-stall system. Then it turned on again

Ethiopian Minister of Transport Dagmawit Moges told journalists this morning that the preliminary findings of the investigation has reached the following four conclusions.

"Since repetitive uncommanded aircraft nose down conditions are is recommended that the aircraft control system shall be reviewed by the manufacturer", Dagmawit said.

THE PILOTS aboard the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed last month, killing all 157 people on board, "repeatedly" followed all of the procedures recommended by Boeing. Similarly, in October past year, a Boeing 737 MAX Lion Air flight crashed in Indonesia, claiming the lives of all 181 people on board.

The problems on board the Ethiopian Airlines flight mirror those encountered on the doomed Lion Air flight 610 - which operated the same 737 Max 8 model and crashed in October - in what could be a major blow to Boeing as it struggles to get the aircraft back in service.

The wife of a pilot who was killed after a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX crashed in Indonesia past year claims that the Ethiopia plane crash was preventable had officials paid heed to appeals by victims to ground the controversial aircraft.

No significant new technical issues have so far emerged in the Ethiopian investigation beyond those already being addressed by Boeing through updated software in the aftermath of the Lion Air crash, a person familiar with the findings said.

Boeing said earlier this week it would need more time to finalise a software fix for the Boeing 737 Max. "Flight crews will always have the ability to override MCAS and manually control the airplane", the company said.

The preliminary report on the accident will likely be issued this week, the Ethiopian government has said.

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- Experts believe a new flight control system, MCAS, on the jets, created to stop stalling by dipping the nose, may have been a factor in both accidents, with pilots unable to override it as their jets plunged after a faulty sensor indicated a stall.

Following the press conference, Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said in a statement that he's "very proud" of the pilots for their "high level of professional performance".

The MCAS is believed to have been a key factor in both 737 Max crashes.

Ethiopian Airlines has said that their pilots followed the Boeing/FAA instructions to the letter but were unsuccessful in pulling the aircraft out of repeated nosedives, that ultimately ended in disaster.

The preliminary report from Indonesian investigators found that a faulty sensor on the aircraft wrongly triggered MCAS without the pilots' knowledge.

A Seattle Times story last month detailed shortcomings in the safety analysis conducted on MCAS during certification of the 737 MAX. The flight repeatedly nose-dived as the pilots battled to control the plane, they added.

The preliminary report has not yet been made public, but will be published by Friday, the chief investigator said.

With power restored, the MCAS was re-engaged, the sources said, and the pilots were unable to regain control before the crash.



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