Boeing's CEO apologizes for the deadly 737 MAX airliner crashes

Geraldine Edwards
April 6, 2019

It wasn't long after this latest crash that Boeing finally got around to updating its flight control software to make it easier for pilots to override the systems that appear to be responsible for not just the Ethiopia Airlines crash but also the crash of another 737 MAX which occurred back in 2018.

The Ethiopian report clearly showed that MCAS - the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, a safety measure added to the new plane to prevent it from unsafe stalls - had activated multiple times.

Both flights were on a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

On Thursday, Ethiopia's Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) released its preliminary report on the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302, which killed all 157 passengers and crew. It's our responsibility to eliminate this risk. "This again is the case here, and we know we can break one of those chain links in these two accidents". He expected the fix to be certified and implemented throughout the 737 MAX fleet in the weeks ahead. The company also said it's reviewing the Ethiopian minister's report "and will take any and all additional steps necessary to enhance the safety of our aircraft".

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"Since repetitive uncommanded aircraft nose down conditions are is recommend that the aircraft control system shall be reviewed by the manufacturer", Moges said.

A statement by Boeing Commercial Airplanes' President and CEO, Kevin McAllister, on Thursday, said that understanding the circumstances that contributed to the accident was critical to ensuring safe flight.

In line with global rules on air accidents, the preliminary report did not attribute blame.

Boeing is temporarily cutting production of its best-selling 737 airliner in the continuing fall-out from crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia.

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But the full picture of what happened in the cockpit of Flight 302 on March 10 and a newly released data plot have showed how crew and technology interacted in haste which led to control damage and possible crash.

The statement came after Ethiopian officials releasing the preliminary report on the March 10 accident said the plane received repeated nose-down commands. Lion Air flight JT 610 plunged into the sea off Indonesia killing all 189 people on board - again after the pilots encountered problems with the anti-stall system.

The AIB's initial findings present data from the crashed plane's flight data recorder (FDR) which shows that faulty readings from a malfunctioning angle-of-attack (AOA) sensor triggered the 737 Max's Maneuvering Characteristic Augmentation System (MCAS) that is created to automatically push the nose of the plane downward.

Muilenburg recognized the role in both crashes of a Boeing-approved flight system, called Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System.

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A grand jury convened by USA prosecutors last month subpoenaed a former Boeing engineer demanding he provide testimony and documents related to the 737 Max. Boeing was sued on behalf of a passenger killed in the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight over claims that its 737 Max 8 isn't safely designed.

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