The crew of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed last month, March 10, repeatedly followed procedures recommended by Boeing, but were unable to regain control of the jet, the Ethiopian transport minister Dagmawit Moges has said on Thursday, as she unveiled the results of the preliminary probe into the crash, which killed all 157 people on board.
“The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft,” Dagmawit said, citing data from the Boeing 737 MAX 8’s recorders.
She said the report recommends “the aircraft flight control system shall be reviewed by the manufacturer.”
“Aviation authorities shall verify that the review of the aircraft flight control system has been adequately addressed by the manufacturer before the release of the aircraft for operations”.
The Journal report, citing unidentified people briefed on the matter, said the pilots had initially shut off the MCAS anti-stall system that was pushing the airplane’s nose down shortly after it took off from Addis Ababa.
The pilots then cranked a manual wheel in an attempt to stabilise the plane, the report said, but they eventually decided to restore power to the usual electric trim on their control yokes, likely because the manual attempt did not achieve the desired results.
Dagmawit did not make specific reference to the automatic anti-stalling system which has been implicated in the crash but did mention a “repetitive nose-down” movement of the aircraft. The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) is designed to automatically lower the aircraft’s nose if it detects a stall or loss of airspeed.
Boeing 737 Max 8 plane model is globally grounded, including India after the crash, which was the second deadly accident in six months after the Lion Air crash in Indonesia that killed 187 people.