Preliminary investigation results on doomed Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 plane discovered that the pilots followed Boeing required procedures, but could not control the flight, the Ethiopian government said on Thursday.
The Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed near Bishoftu town, about 45 kilometers from the capital, Addis Ababa, just minutes after taking off from Bole International Airport, killing all 157 people aboard.
“The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer, but was not able to control the aircraft,” said Ethiopian Minister of Transport Dagmawit Moges.
The minister also noted that preliminary investigation results also revealed that the doomed aircraft “possessed a valid certificate of airworthiness, and the crew obtained the licenses and qualifications to conduct the flight.”
She also revealed that “the take-off role appeared very normal.”
In line with international rules on air accidents, the preliminary report did not attribute blame. Nor did it give a detailed analysis of the flight, which is expected to take several months before a final report due within a year.
According to Moges, two safety recommendations have been forwarded based on the initial information gathered during the course of the preliminary investigation.
“The first one is since repetitive un-commanded aircraft nose-down conditions are noticed in this preliminary investigation, it is recommended that the aircraft flight control system related to the flight control ability shall be reviewed by the manufacturer,” she said.
“And the second one is aviation authorities shall verify that the review of their aircraft flight control system related to flight control ability has been adequately addressed by the manufacturer before release of their aircraft to operations,” she added.
The preliminary investigation report was made on the basis of the data from the recorders of the doomed Boeing 737 Max 8.
The preliminary report into the Lion Air disaster said the pilots lost control after grappling with the plane’s manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) software, a new automated anti-stall feature that repeatedly lowered the nose of the aircraft based on faulty data from a sensor.
Boeing said on Wednesday it had successfully tested an update of the MCAS software designed to reduce its authority and make it easier for pilots to handle. REUTERS