Boeing must review 737 MAX flight control system; pilots followed recommended procedures – Ethiopia

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The Boeing 737 MAX that crashed on its way to Nairobi last month repeatedly nose-dived before plunging to the earth, Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement.

A preliminary report on the crash found that the plane’s crew “had performed all the procedures, repeatedly, provided by the manufacturer [Boeing], but was not able to control the aircraft.”

Noting that the plane experienced multiple nose-dives, the report recommends that the aircraft’s flight control system be reviewed by Boeing. Investigators also called on aviation authorities to “verify that the review of the aircraft flight control system related to flight controllability has been adequately addressed by the manufacturer before release of the aircraft”for commercial use.

Ethiopian Airlines said it has not seen the report, but was briefed about it by investigators. The full report will be published on the Ethiopian Ministry of Transportation’s website on Thursday or Friday.

The preliminary report’s findings raises serious questions about the Boeing 737 MAX 8’s safety certification.

Last week, it was revealed that US and EU regulators had known for at least two years of irregularities with aircraft nose-angle control in the Boeing 737 MAX fleet, especially in the conditions which led to the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

Flight ET 302 crashed on March 10 during a routine flight from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to the Kenyan capital, killing all 149 passengers and eight crew members on board.

Indonesian investigators believe similar problems with nose-angle control may be responsible for the Lion Air tragedy in October, when a Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed into the Java Sea. All 189 passengers and crew were killed in the accident.

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