The crew of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 followed procedures from Boeing but could not stop the plane from repeatedly nose-diving and ultimately crashing last month, killing all 157 people on board, Ethiopian officials said Thursday.
Boeing said last week that it was reprogramming software on its 737 MAX passenger jet to prevent erroneous data from triggering an anti-stall system that is under mounting scrutiny following the two deadly nose-down crashes.
"The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer, but was not able to control the aircraft", said Dagmawit Moges, unveiling results of the preliminary probe into the crash.
She also said her agency will recommend that aviation authorities verify that Boeing has "adequately addressed" flight control issues "before release of the aircraft to operations".
They suggested that Boeing review the controllability of the 737 MAX systems and that aviation authorities confirm any changes before allowing that model of plane back into the air.
The Federal Aviation Administration said late on Wednesday (April 3) that it is forming an worldwide team to review the safety of the now-grounded Boeing 737 Max.
Citizens from over 30 countries were on board.
The findings drew the strongest link yet between the March 10 crash in Ethiopia and an October crash off the coast of Indonesia, which both involved Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliners.
In Boeing's statement, the company did not indicate when the update will be released but said that it "adds additional layers of protection and will prevent erroneous data from causing MCAS activation".
WaPo: Saudis Giving Money, Lavish Homes to Khashoggi Children
The family of the deceased journalist could also grant clemency to the killers if convicted as the Saudi justice system allows it. It is unclear whether Khashoggi's children would be required to forgive or absolve the killers to collect the payments.
But in a clear indication of where Ethiopian investigators are directing the attention of regulators, they cleared the pilots of using incorrect procedures and issued two safety recommendations focussed on the recently introduced aircraft. The 29-year-old captain had more than 8,000 flight hours overall, including more than 1,400 on older 737s, the report said.
The pilots shut off the anti-stall system, called the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System, but switched it back on because they could not regain control, The Journal reported, citing people briefed on the preliminary findings. Boeing's procedures instruct pilots to leave the MCAS disconnected and continue flying manually for the rest of the flight.
The press conference in Ethiopia. "It looks like the plane might have been in a position where it was very hard to recover even after they turned off the MCAS system". MCAS points the nose down by moving the stabilizer with the motors. "It seems likely they've got more things going on at once in a shorter time period". "This is causing us a great deal of pain".
Meanwhile, the family of a 24-year-old American woman killed in the crash sued Boeing on Thursday.
The disaster was the second such crash of a Max 8 jet in less than six months, and raised fears about the model's automated software, prompting the worldwide grounding of all similar planes now in service.
On Tuesday, the US Senate Commerce Committee said it was investigating claims by a number of whistle-blowers that aviation safety inspectors, including some who worked to evaluate the now-grounded Boeing 737 Max, were not properly trained or certified.
"Those planes should never fly again", Nader said. Investigations are also looking at the role of the Federal Aviation Administration in the US, which certified the Max in 2017, declined to ground it after the first deadly crash in October.
Ethiopian investigators did not blame anyone for the crash, stressing the importance of global rules requiring civil probes to focus on recommendations for safer flight.