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Ethiopian pilots praised after details of ET302 preliminary crash report revealed

Posted 4 April 2019 · Add Comment

Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde GabreMariam paid tribute to the pilots of flight ET302, the 737 Max8 aircraft, that crashed close to Bole Airport last month.


"We are very proud of our pilots' compliances to follow the emergency procedures, and high level of professional performances in such extremely difficult situations," he said after details of the preliminary report into the March 10 crash, were revelealed in Addis Ababa this morning.
Ethiopia’s transport minister Dagmawit Moges gave a brief summary and outlined the recommendations of the preliminary report into the March 10 crash. She singled out the “aircraft flight control system” as contributing to the plane’s difficulty in gaining altitude from Addis Ababa airport before crashing six minutes later and killing all 157 on board.
“Since repetitive uncommanded aircraft nose-down conditions were noticed in this preliminary investigation, it is recommended the aircraft flight control system related to flight controllability be reviewed by the manufacturer,” she said.
"It was very unfortunate they [the pilots] could not recover the airplane from the persistence of nosediving," Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement.
There had been lot of commentary from the US about failures in the airline’s training and briefing, and failures in the oversight from the regulator since “no American airlines had crashed”.
The data from the recovered flight data recorders are said to vindicate the airline and the Ethiopian CAA as the pilots followed the procedures outlined by Boeing after the crash of a Lion Air aircraft in Indonesia late last year.
But Tewolde 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."
While US regulators and airlines delayed grounding the 737 Max family of aircraft for some time after the crash but public pressure and the realisation of the impact of the data from the aircraft led to a global grounding affecting more than 300 aircraft.
Investigators had focused their attention on the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) - software designed to help prevent the 737 Max from stalling.
The software reacts when sensors in the nose of the aircraft show the jet is climbing at too steep an angle, which can cause a plane to stall. Boeing has been working on an upgrade of the MCAS software since the Lion Air crash in October.
The manufacturer had said the system can be disabled - allowing pilots to regain control if there appears to be a problem – but the latest comments from Ethiopian officials said that pilots could not regain control, despite following those procedures


 

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