Ethiopia’s Minister of Transport has released a preliminary report into last month’s Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 crash that killed all 157 people on board.
Revealed to a group of local journalists in Ethiopia, the country’s Transport Minister, Dagmawit Moges said that despite several efforts by the pilots to prevent the aircraft from continuously nosediving, they were unable to prevent the flight’s final fate.
Additionally, the Minister of Transport pointed out that the pilots followed Boeing’s recommended procedures for the situation but were unable to avoid repeated failures with the 737 MAX’s anti-stall system.
“The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft,” said Moges.
"Since repetitive uncommanded aircraft nose down conditions are noticed ... it is recommended that the aircraft control system shall be reviewed by the manufacturer," she added.
The ongoing investigation into the crash has focused its efforts on the Boeing 737 MAX’s Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), which is designed to prevent the aircraft from stalling. It is believed that repeated false readings communicated from the sensors to the software caused the MCAS to activate.
Following the crash of ET 302 last month, several countries around the world moved to ground Boeing’s family of narrow-body aircraft. After it was announced that the plane would be grounded in the US market, the aerospace manufacturer made the decision to ground the entirety of its global fleet.
The crash of Ethiopian Flight ET 302 was the second crash of a Boeing 737 Max aircraft in less than six months. In October 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea roughly 12 minutes after taking off from Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Jakarta. All 189 passengers and crew on board perished in the incident.
Boeing recently announced that it would also be reducing the production schedule of its 737 Max line, down to 42 planes per month from the original 52 per month.