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Pilots blameless for the crash in Ethiopia

Boeing 737 Max plane crashThe first of the large Boeing 737 MAX 9 models, Boeing's newest commercial airplane, sits outside its production plant in Renton, Wash. Boeing stops test flights of its new 737 model because of a possible problem in engine discs. The company is working with engine maker CFM to investigate. The company said Wednesday, May 10th, 2017, it was notified of a potential manufacturing-quality issue by CFM, which makes the engines that are going on the Boeing 737 Max. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Pilots without blame for the 737 MAX crash in Ethiopia

Ethiopian Airlines acquit its pilots and blame Boeing for the fatal accident involving a 737 MAX 8, which spelt disaster for the 157 persons on board. Boeing promises security measures.


“The pilots of the Ethiopian Airlines plane failed to correct that the aircraft’s nose constantly turning downwards,” Ethiopian Minister of Transport, Dagmawit Moges, asserts.

Moges presented the preliminary investigation report after the accident in March on Thursday.

She goes on to say that the pilots and the crew followed the procedures to the letter, but that they couldn’t control the plane. The crew performed all the steps recommended by the manufacturer.

Certified crew

“The crew had all licenses and qualifications necessary to conduct the flight. It is recommended that the aircraft’s control system be scrutinised by the manufacturer,” the Minister of Transport continues.

The Manager of the airline adds that the entire crew performed extraordinarily professionally under extremely difficult conditions.

“We are proud that our pilots followed the emergency procedures to the letter,” according to CEO of Ethiopian, Tewolde Gebremariam.

A few hours after the relevant Ethiopian authorities presented the preliminary investigation report, Boeing made a statement that they would do «everything» to secure its aircraft.

“We will read the report thoroughly and implement all necessary security measures to secure our planes,” a spokesperson of Boeing, Kevin McAllister, assures.

Two within a short time span

The accident involving the aircraft from Ethiopian Airlines occurred on March 10th, just after departure from Addis Ababa. All 157 aboard lost their lives. An almost identical accident occurred with a Boeing 737 MAX 8 in Indonesia five months earlier.

After the last accident, aircraft of this type were gradually grounded all over the world pending the manufacturer’s upgrade of the software controlling much of what goes on aboard.

The solutions Boeing will implement must be approved by US aviation authorities and other inspection bodies. So far no date has been set for this.

Trust in Boeing

As a result of Norway and its Civil Aviation Authority following the European regulations laid down by EASA, Norwegian Airlines has taken all of its 737 MAX 8 aircraft out of service.

“We relate to the aviation authorities and to the aircraft manufacturer,” Communications Advisor in Norwegian, Tonje Næss states. She does not want to comment further on the preliminary report.

Director of Department of the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority, Wenche Olsen, tells NTB that they have not reviewed the report well enough yet, but that they are in regular dialogue with EASA and other aviation authorities.

“The Civil Aviation Authority has confidence that Boeing handles this matter in a good way, and that they are taking measures to ensure that this does not happen again”, she concludes.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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