Ethiopia Crash: Pilots Followed Procedures, First Official Report Says
(Source: Deutsche Welle German Radio; issued April 04, 2019)
A preliminary report on the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX airplane says pilots followed recommended emergency procedures but were unable to control the jet.
Pilots of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 passenger jet that crashed on March 10 followed recommended procedures to rectify the plane's continued nosediving but in vain, Ethiopia's transport minister said on Thursday.
"The crew [repeatedly] performed all the procedures [...] provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft," Dagmawit Moges told reporters in Addis Ababa, citing a preliminary report.
She said the report recommended that Boeing should review the aircraft flight control system.
Although she referred to a "repetitive nose down" movement of the aircraft, she did not specifically mention the plane's automatic anti-stalling system, which has been implicated in the crash amid similarities with a Lion Air crash in Indonesia October that also involved flight control issues.
The airline also tweeted the information from the preliminary report in a statement about the crash.
The crash of Flight ET 302 killed all 157 passengers and crew on board the plane, which was flying from the Ethiopian capital to Nairobi in Kenya.
All Boeing 737 MAX aircraft were grounded following the crash in Ethiopia.
In accordance with international rules, the preliminary report did not assign any blame for the crash. A final report is due within a year.
Boeing defends aircraft safety
In response to the report, Boeing said it would study the findings but insisted on the safety of the 737 MAX aircraft.
"We remain confident in the fundamental safety of the 737 MAX," CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in a statement.
However, Muilenburg recognized that "erroneous activation" of a so-called Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System designed to prevent stalls had occurred.
The aircraft giant has said that software updates would address any issues with the aircraft.
Boeing Statement on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Investigation Preliminary Report
(Source: Boeing Co.; issued April 4, 2019)
CHICAGO --- Boeing issued the following statement regarding the release today of the preliminary investigation report of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 by the Ethiopian Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).
"I'd like to reiterate our deepest sympathies are with the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in the accident," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Kevin McAllister. "We thank Ethiopia's Accident Investigation Bureau for its hard work and continuing efforts. Understanding the circumstances that contributed to this accident is critical to ensuring safe flight. We will carefully review the AIB's preliminary report, and will take any and all additional steps necessary to enhance the safety of our aircraft."
Safety is a core value for everyone at Boeing and the safety of our airplanes, our customers' passengers and crews is always our top priority. Boeing's technical experts continue to assist in this investigation and company-wide teams are working to address lessons from the Lion Air Flight 610 accident in October.
The preliminary report contains flight data recorder information indicating the airplane had an erroneous angle of attack sensor input that activated the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) function during the flight, as it had during the Lion Air 610 flight.
To ensure unintended MCAS activation will not occur again, Boeing has developed and is planning to release a software update to MCAS and an associated comprehensive pilot training and supplementary education program for the 737 MAX.
As previously announced, the update adds additional layers of protection and will prevent erroneous data from causing MCAS activation. Flight crews will always have the ability to override MCAS and manually control the airplane.
Boeing continues to work with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and other regulatory agencies worldwide on the development and certification of the software update and training program.
Boeing also is continuing to work closely with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as technical advisors in support of the AIB investigation. As a party providing technical assistance under the direction of investigating authorities, Boeing is prevented by international protocol and NTSB regulations from disclosing any information relating to the investigation. In accordance with international protocol, information about the investigation is provided only by investigating authorities in charge.
Ethiopian Airlines Statement on the Preliminary Report of the Accident on ET 302 Addis Ababa
(Source: Ethiopian Airlines; issued April 04, 2019)
Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Group which is the largest and the most successful Aviation group in Africa, would like to acknowledge the preliminary report of the accident of ET302/10 March, 2019 and would like to appreciate the hard work of the investigation team.
The preliminary report clearly showed that the Ethiopian Airlines Pilots who were commanding Flight ET302/10 March have followed Boeing's recommended and FAA's approved emergency procedures to handle the most difficult emergency situation created on the airplane. Despite their hard work and full compliance with the emergency procedures, it was very unfortunate that they could not recover the airplane from the persistence of nose diving. As the investigation continues with more detailed analysis, as usual we will continue with our full cooperation with the investigation team.
Group CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam said, "All of us at Ethiopian Airlines are still going through deep mourning for the loss of our loved ones and we would like to express our deep sympathy and condolences for the families, relatives and friends of the victims. Meanwhile, we are very proud of our pilots’ compliances to follow the emergency procedures and high level of professional performances in such extremely difficult situations.
“We are also very proud of our Global standard Pilot Training Center and the Ethiopian Aviation Academy which is one of the largest and most modern in the world equipped with state of the art and latest training technologies. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our valued customers, the travelling public, the media and global aviation professionals for the remarkably high level of vote of confidences and strong support that you have been giving us starting from the day of this tragic accident. We will double our efforts every single day to win your confidence and earn your business.
“Your safety will remain our top most priority and we will continue to work together with our partners around the world to make air travel safer and more comfortable. My highest appreciation also goes to my 16,000 colleagues at Ethiopian Airlines for their resilience, high standards of professionalism and their continued commitment for operational excellence and their award-winning customer services which enabled us to continue our business without any operational disruption, flight delays nor flight cancellations.”