Doomed 737 MAX’s Pilots Apparently Followed Boeing’s Safety Directions to No Avail (excerpt)
(Source: Seattle Times; posted April 03, 2019)
By Dominic Gates
The pilots of the Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX that crashed last month appear to have followed the emergency procedure laid out by both Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration — cutting off the suspect flight-control system — but could not regain control and avert the plunge that killed all 157 on board.

Press reports citing people briefed on the crash investigation’s preliminary findings said the pilots hit the system-cutoff switches as Boeing had instructed after October’s Lion Air MAX crash, but couldn’t get the plane’s nose back up. They then turned the system back on before the plane nose-dived into the ground.

While the new software fix Boeing has proposed will likely prevent this situation recurring, if the preliminary investigation confirms that the Ethiopian pilots did cut off the automatic flight-control system, this is still a nightmarish outcome for Boeing and the FAA.


It would suggest the emergency procedure laid out by Boeing and passed along by the FAA after the Lion Air crash is wholly inadequate and failed the Ethiopian flight crew.

A local expert, former Boeing flight-control engineer Peter Lemme, recently explained how the emergency procedure could fail disastrously. His scenario is backed up by extracts from a 1982 Boeing 737-200 Pilot Training Manual posted to an online pilot forum a month ago by an Australian pilot.

That old 737 pilot manual lays out a scenario where a much more elaborate pilot response is required than the one that Boeing outlined in November and has reiterated ever since. The explanation in that manual from nearly 40 years ago is no longer detailed in the current flight manual. (end of excerpt)


Click here for the full story, on the Seattle Times website.

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