Boeing Tests New 737 MAX Software Amid Probe Into Ethiopian Airlines' Crash

Boeing Tests New 737 MAX Software Amid Probe Into Ethiopian Airlines' Crash

Addis Ababa - Pilots of an Ethiopian Airlines jet wrestled with controls to stay aloft but plunged to the ground after restoring current to a computer system that was ordering the nose down because of faulty sensor data, a preliminary report showed on Thursday.

Ethiopian Minister Dagmawit Moges said that the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft was in good condition before take-off.

"We will carefully review the. preliminary report and will take any and all additional steps necessary to enhance the safety of our aircraft", Kevin McAllister, head of Boeing's commercial aircraft division, said in a statement.

Boeing declined to comment pending its review of the preliminary report. The suit also cites a similar flaw in the Lion Air flight of a 737 Max 8 jet that crashed into the Java Sea on October 29, killing 189. It was the second deadly crash in recent months involving Boeing's new 737 Max 8 plane. CBC News has obtained a copy of the 737 MAX flight crew manual - and what's not in it raises troubling questions about the manufacturer's lack of disclosure.

In the days following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, airlines and aviation authorities around the world grounded the Max.

She said the report recommends "the aircraft flight control system shall be reviewed by the manufacturer".

"We remain confident in the fundamental safety of the 737 MAX", CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in a statement.

Captain Yared Getachew, in command of the Ethiopian Airlines flight, had amassed more than 8,000 flight hours, according to the airline, while first officer Ahmed Nur Mohammod had spent about 200 hours aloft.

When the pilots restored power to the horizontal stabilizer however, the MCAS re-engaged and forced the nose of the plane down again and the pilots were unable to pull the plane out of the nosedive that followed.


Boeing has since stopped deliveries of the 737 Max, and has mandated a previously optional cockpit warning light, but maintains their new fuel-efficient aircraft is safe.

"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 nosediving", the airline said.

The complaint alleges that decisions by Boeing leaders contributed to the crash and "demonstrate Boeing's conscious disregard for the lives of others", including designing an aircraft with a flight-control system that is "susceptible to catastrophic failure" in the event of a single defective sensor made by Rosemount Aerospace.

The FAA grounded all 737 Max 8s and Max 9s in the USA on March 13, after aviation regulators in other nations around the world had already done the same.

Boeing said after a similar 737 MAX fatal crash in Indonesia previous year that its procedures would have worked, WSJ said.

The preliminary report, which has not yet been publicly released, does not come to a finding of probable cause.

Both the planes appeared to ascend and descend erratically, suggesting the pilots struggled to maintain control.

The planemaker says the upgrades are not an admission that MCAS caused the crashes.

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