Ethiopia urges Boeing to review 737 MAX controls, backs pilots

Ethiopia urges Boeing to review 737 MAX controls, backs pilots

Pilots on a doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight followed proper procedures and still couldn't bring the 737 Max out of a dive, Ethiopia's transport minister said, pressing Boeing Co.to fix the flight controls of its plane to avoid further disasters.

"The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer, but was not able to control the aircraft", Moges said, unveiling results of the preliminary probe into the crash.

The March 10 flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi crashed just minutes after taking off, killing all 157 people onboard.

The system activated in the Ethiopian Airlines crash last month and also during a separate Lion Air crash in Indonesia in October, Boeing said in a statement following the release of preliminary findings from Ethiopia.

The release of the report came after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a review of the certification of the automated flight control system on the 737 MAX.

Aviation authorities in Europe ordered the grounding of the 737 Max aircraft in early March following the crash.

- Ethiopia is expected to publish the full preliminary crash report within days. Boeing has released a statement in response to the report.

"This allows the ongoing investigation to explore any other factors in the crash, as well as the key focus of the MCAS system", he said, referring to the anti-stall feature.

According to the sources, the pilots did not try to electronically pull the nose of the plane up before following Boeing's emergency procedures of disengaging power to the horizontal stabilizer on the rear of the aircraft.

Ethiopian Airlines pilots initially used Boeing emergency procedures before crash
Stumo, originally from MA , is the niece of consumer activist Ralph Nader, who called for a boycott of the 737 Max on Thursday. Boeing's procedures instruct pilots to leave the MCAS disconnected and continue flying manually for the rest of the flight.

Investigators are now focusing in on the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) that was in place on the downed Boeing 737 Max.

"As the investigation continues with more detailed analysis, as usual we will continue with our full cooperation with the investigation team", the airlines statement said.

Ethiopian investigators are focusing most of their attention on recommendations directed at Boeing and regulators.

Following a previous Ethiopian Airlines accident off Beirut in 2010, Addis Ababa authorities rejected the conclusions of a Lebanese investigation citing pilot error and suggested the aircraft had exploded in a possible act of sabotage.

"We can confirm that we haven't found any foreign object damage", Amdeye Ayalew, Ethiopian Accident Information Bureau investigation chairman, told reporters, speaking through a translator. She added that an global team investigating the crash includes the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S., France's BEA and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.

One of the biggest questions investigators will look at is why, if the pilots followed Boeing's standard procedures to circumvent the flight control system, the incident ended in a crash.

A directive issued after the Indonesian crash instructed pilots to use two cut-out switches to disengage the system in the event of problems and then leave them switched off.

The report piles pressure on Boeing whose most popular aircraft is grounded worldwide, facing scrutiny over optional safety features and their relationship with the United States regulator.

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