Boeing originally claimed that the crashes could have been avoided if the pilots adequately followed the established safety protocol.
For the first time since the plane accidents involving Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610, both of which operated the same 737 Max 8 Model by Boeing aircraft manufacturing company, CEO Dennis Muilenburg acknowledged that bad data played a role in the crashes.
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Some 346 people were killed as a result of the crashes. No pilot error was reported after Ethiopian aviation officials investigated the March 10 crash in Addis Ababa. But, both flights exhibited a similar flight pattern when they went down.
Muilenberg released a statement, as well as a Twitter video, explaining that "it’s apparent that in both flights the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, known as MCAS, activated in response to the erroneous angle of attack information.”
The pilots attempted to regain control of the aircraft, which was pushed down by the automated flight control system four times during the flight, due to the anti-stall system. Ethiopian Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges addressed a news conference, saying “the crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft.”
The Boeing jet that crashed in Ethiopia wasn't airworthy and I'm still angry that some media blame of the Ethiopian pilots ("They're Africans; it's a great American company" was the tone). We learned today pilots fought heroically to save lives as the faulty plane self-destructed pic.twitter.com/FYFaAJ21Co— James Hall (@hallaboutafrica) April 4, 2019
Boeing originally claimed that the crashes could have been avoided if the pilots adequately followed the established safety protocol. The investigations, however, proved that the pilots on the Ethiopian flight attempted to turn the MCAS system off and back on again.
“Since repetitive uncommanded aircraft nose-down conditions are noticed... it is recommended that the aircraft control system shall be reviewed by the manufacturer,” Dagmawit suggested. Those specific plane models have not been allowed to fly since mid-March.
Boeing is currently working to update the software to reduce future risks of a similar accidents.
“When the MAX returns to the skies with the software changes to the MCAS function, it will be among the safest airplanes ever to fly,” Muilenberg reassured.
The aviation executive also apologized "for the pain these accidents have caused worldwide," adding that "the history of our industry shows most accidents are caused by a chain of events. This again is the case here, and we know we can break one of those chain links in these two accidents."