The hidden side of politics

Boeing under pressure as Ethiopian investigators point crash blame to 737 Max software

Reported by CNBC: 

Pressure is mounting on Boeing after Ethiopian investigators said pilots flying Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 weren’t responsible for the March 10 crash that killed 157 people, shifting blame to the flight-control system that’s also suspected in an October crash of the same 757 Max jet.

found that pilots on the Ethiopian flight turned the anti-stall system off and back on again to try to regain control of the plane, casting doubt on Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration‘s assertions that the crash may have been avoided had pilots simply followed established safety procedures.

Moges didn’t specifically blame the MCAS software. However, she said it needed to be reviewed before the planes, which have been grounded since mid-March, were allowed to fly again.

“Since repetitive uncommanded aircraft nose-down conditions are noticed … it is recommend that the aircraft control system shall be reviewed by the manufacturer,” Dagmawit said. She also suggested that the aviation authority ensures the jet’s flight control system is reviewed by Boeing before the jets are allowed to fly again.

Ethiopian investigators said they would publish their 30-page preliminary report by Friday. It’s expected to take several months before they will issue a final report and announce the cause of the crash. The preliminary findings were based on flight data and cockpit voice records on the Boeing 737 Max.

Boeing and the FAA both responded Thursday. The company said it’s developed a software update to the MCAS and established additional pilot training and education 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,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Kevin McAllister.

The plane maker is currently under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department, the Transportation Department’s Inspector General and Congress.

The FAA formed an international task forces with other aviation regulators to review Boeing’s planned fixes for the plane. It said its investigation is still in the early stages and that it would take “appropriate action” once more details become available.

The statement did not specify whether the FAA would review the Max’s flight control system, as recommended by Ethiopian investigators.

Ethiopia Airlines said in a statement that the report clearly showed that pilots were not at fault.

“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,” the airline said.

Investigations into the two crashes are ongoing. Ethiopian officials said that a final report could take a year before release, and a final report on the Lion Air accident in Indonesia is expected in August.