Last month, Ethiopian Airlines had a fatal accident involving a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, where the aircraft crashed soon after take-off, killing 157 people onboard.It became the second fatal incident in 5 months to happen on the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Following this, governments around the world had grounded the MAX, with India and the USA being amongst the last ones to comply.
All eyes were on the Ethiopian Airlines crash preliminary report, which tends to give a clue about what caused the crash. The preliminary report was just released by the Ethiopian Transport Ministry, and simultaneously by Ethiopian Airlines. Here is a written statement from the airline.
The preliminary investigation report of the Ethiopian Airlines flight shows that the cockpit crew performed all the procedures advised by Boeing, and certified by the FAA, “to full compliance” to bypass the new MCAS flight system, but were not able to take back control of the aircraft. As per both WSJ and Reuters, the pilots had cut off the MCAS system, but they then had to reengage it when they were not able to take control of the aircraft. This lead to continuous nose down movement, and hence the crash.
The review recommended that the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft’s flight control system be reviewed before it is allowed to return to service. Amdeye Fenta of the Ethiopian Accident Information Bureau, clearly added, “Is there a structural design problem? We cannot predict right now.”
This is a developing story.