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Boeing software under scrutiny as Ethiopia prepares crash report

08 April, 2019, 05:59 | Author: Taylor George
  • UAE to validate any Boeing MAX fix before lifting airspace ban

An aerial photo shows Boeing 737 MAX airplanes parked on the tarmac at the Boeing Factory in Renton, Washington, U.S. March 21, 2019.

A preliminary report into the March 10 fatal crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX says the aircraft was subject to repetitive nose-down commands.

"Today's preliminary report suggests Boeing could have done better in notifying the problem with the aircraft system early on", said Konjit Shafi, whose younger brother, Sintayehu Shafi, died in the crash.

The pilots initially followed Boeing's emergency steps by disconnecting the MCAS system, but for an unknown reason, they turned the system back on, an official familiar with the crash investigation told The Associated Press on Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because investigators had not yet released their preliminary report.

Moses said the preliminary report was based on information from the cockpit voice and flight data recorders as well as additional documents gathered by the civil aviation authority and evidence from the accident site. Among the areas of focus for criminal investigators are the processes by which Boeing itself certified the plane as safe and the data it presented the FAA about that self-certification, the sources said.

"It's our responsibility to eliminate this risk". "We own it, and we know how to do it".

"All of us feel the huge gravity of these events across our company and recognize the devastation of the families and friends of the loved ones who perished", he said. Muilenberg promised that when the 737 MAX is cleared to fly again, it will be one of the safest aircraft ever built.

Another official said Ethiopian authorities expected the investigation to take up to a year, depending on how complicated it proved, and said there would be no interference from Ethiopian Airlines.

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The world's largest planemaker said the anti-stall system, which is believed to have repeatedly forced the nose lower in the Indonesia accident, would only do so one time after sensing a problem, giving pilots more control.

Rosemount makes the angle of attack sensor.

Meanwhile, ABC News cited unidentified sources as saying the sensor might have been damaged on takeoff, and that could have triggered MCAS.

They also requested records from Peter Lemme, who worked for Boeing as a flight controls engineer from 1981 to 1997, long before the MAX was in development.

"The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft", Dagmawit told a news conference in the capital, Addis Ababa. The 29-year-old captain had more than 8,000 flight hours overall, including more than 1,400 on older 737s, the report said. Boeing's procedures instruct pilots to leave the MCAS system disconnected and continue flying manually for the rest of the flight.

Lawyers for Stumo's family have also filed a federal tort claim against the FAA over the Ethiopian crash. Stumo is a great grand-niece of consumer advocate Ralph Nader.

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. Investigations are also looking at the role of the Federal Aviation Administration in the USA, which certified the Max in 2017, declined to ground it after the first deadly crash in October. The FAA has said it will review the software before allowing the Max to fly again. The agency was also reluctant to ground the planes after the Ethiopian Airlines crash and was among the last agencies to do so.

The investigations into both crashes are still underway.



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