Ethiopian Airlines crew followed Boeing procedures before crash

06 April, 2019, 06:48 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Ethiopian Air pilots turned off 737 MAX anti-stall system. Then it turned on again

The crew of the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed six minutes after takeoff last month performed all procedures recommended by Boeing when the plane started to nosedive and they could not save it, according to findings from a preliminary report released Thursday by Ethiopia's government.

It said the pilots tried several times to pull the nose of the plane upward.

The Boeing 737 MAX hit an airspeed as high as 500 knots (575 miles per hour), well above its operational limits, before cockpit data recordings stopped as the plane crashed on March 10 killing all 157 passengers and crew. The model is now grounded worldwide as investigators probe its airworthiness and how it gained permission to fly. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World. The preliminary findings show that the pilot on the Ethiopian Airlines flight used the proper procedure to shut down power to the horizontal stabilizer and used the trim wheel to bring the nose of the plane up.

The pilots on board Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 battled the plane's automated systems for almost the entire duration of the 6-minute flight, according to a preliminary report into the crash obtained by CNN on Thursday.

"We are very proud of our pilots' compliances to follow the emergency procedures and high level of professional performances in such extremely hard situations", Tewolde said.

Boeing said on Wednesday that its updated 737 MAX software had been successfully tested.

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".

Boeing is the focus of investigations by the U.S. Justice Department, the Transportation Department's inspector general, and congressional committees.

The Boeing 737 MAX that crashed on its way to Nairobi last month repeatedly nose-dived before plunging to the earth, Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement.

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Planes usually climb steadily to get safely away from terrain and to reach altitudes where engines burn more efficiently.

But John Hansman, an aeronautics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said turning the MCAS system back on after disabling it would be a logical step for the pilots to take. The plane appeared "very normal" on takeoff and then suffered "repetitive uncommanded nose-down".

Both pilots in the Ethiopian Airlines crash underwent additional training following the Lion Air incident.

Little more was disclosed at the short news conference, which was conducted mostly in Amharic and partly in English, and was broadcast live on the national TV channel and the internet.

It was the second fatal crash of a Boeing 737 Max in five months.

Africa's only consistently profitable carrier, Ethiopian has built Addis Ababa into a major hub feeding travelers from around the world into dozens of African cities in competition with rivals such as Dubai-based Emirates.

The crash led to a global grounding of 737 MAX jets and scrutiny of its certification process. The later they shut it off, the less time they had to recover, he said.

He also said investigators have not identified any "structural design problem" with the aircraft.

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