Boeing issued the following statement regarding the release today of the preliminary investigation report of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 by the Ethiopian Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).
The preliminary report contains flight data recorder information indicating the airplane had an erroneous angle of attack sensor input that activated the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) function during the flight, as it had during the Lion Air 610 flight.
To ensure unintended MCAS activation will not occur again, Boeing has developed and is planning to release a software update to MCAS and an associated comprehensive pilot training and supplementary education program for the 737 MAX.
As previously announced, the update adds additional layers of protection and will prevent erroneous data from causing MCAS activation. Flight crews will always have the ability to override MCAS and manually control the airplane.
Boeing continues to work with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and other regulatory agencies worldwide on the development and certification of the software update and training program.
Boeing also is continuing to work closely with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as technical advisors in support of the AIB investigation. As a party providing technical assistance under the direction of investigating authorities, Boeing is prevented by international protocol and NTSB regulations from disclosing any information relating to the investigation. In accordance with international protocol, information about the investigation is provided only by investigating authorities in charge.
In addition, CEO Dennis Muilenburg issued this statement:
We at Boeing are sorry for the lives lost in the recent 737 MAX accidents. These tragedies continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and minds, and we extend our sympathies to the loved ones of the passengers and crew on board Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. All of us feel the immense gravity of these events across our company and recognize the devastation of the families and friends of the loved ones who perished.
The full details of what happened in the two accidents will be issued by the government authorities in the final reports, but, with the release of the preliminary report of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident investigation, it’s apparent that in both flights the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, known as MCAS, activated in response to erroneous angle of attack information.
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. As pilots have told us, erroneous activation of the MCAS function can add to what is already a high workload environment. It’s our responsibility to eliminate this risk. We own it and we know how to do it.
From the days immediately following the Lion Air accident, we’ve had teams of our top engineers and technical experts working tirelessly in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration and our customers to finalize and implement a software update that will ensure accidents like that of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 never happen again.
We’re taking a comprehensive, disciplined approach, and taking the time, to get the software update right. We’re nearing completion and anticipate its certification and implementation on the 737 MAX fleet worldwide in the weeks ahead. We regret the impact the grounding has had on our airline customers and their passengers.
This update, along with the associated training and additional educational materials that pilots want in the wake of these accidents, will eliminate the possibility of unintended MCAS activation and prevent an MCAS-related accident from ever happening again.
We at Boeing take the responsibility to build and deliver airplanes to our airline customers and to the flying public that are safe to fly, and can be safely flown by every single one of the professional and dedicated pilots all around the world. This is what we do at Boeing.
We remain confident in the fundamental safety of the 737 MAX. All who fly on it—the passengers, flight attendants and pilots, including our own families and friends—deserve our best. 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.
We’ve always been relentlessly focused on safety and always will be. It’s at the very core of who we are at Boeing. And we know we can always be better. Our team is determined to keep improving on safety in partnership with the global aerospace industry and broader community. It’s this shared sense of responsibility for the safety of flight that spans and binds us all together.
I cannot remember a more heart-wrenching time in my career with this great company. When I started at Boeing more than three decades ago, our amazing people inspired me. I see how they dedicate their lives and extraordinary talents to connect, protect, explore and inspire the world — safely. And that purpose and mission has only grown stronger over the years.
We know lives depend on the work we do and that demands the utmost integrity and excellence in how we do it. With a deep sense of duty, we embrace the responsibility of designing, building and supporting the safest airplanes in the skies. We know every person who steps aboard one of our airplanes places their trust in us.
Together, we’ll do everything possible to earn and re-earn that trust and confidence from our customers and the flying public in the weeks and months ahead.
Again, we’re deeply saddened by and are sorry for the pain these accidents have caused worldwide. Everyone affected has our deepest sympathies.
Chairman, President & CEO
The Boeing Company
The FAA issued this statement:
SWAPA issued this statement:
The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) expressed support for the Special Committee to review the FAA’s aircraft certification process announced this afternoon by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“For the men and women of SWAPA, safety will always be paramount,” said Jon Weaks, SWAPA President. “SWAPA looks forward to assisting in determining whether improvements can be made to the FAA safety oversight and certification process. SWAPA also appreciates Secretary Chao’s leadership on these issues as well as SWAPA being asked to submit subject matter experts for consideration to the Special Committee.”
SWAPA looks forward to ensuring this endeavor is a success so the U.S. aviation industry will remain the safest in the world.
British Airways has made this announcement:
The fourth and final British Airways aircraft in a heritage livery has touched down at Heathrow this morning. The Boeing 747-400 (above) adorns the Negus design which was originally on the British Airways fleet from 1974-1980.
The arrival of the aircraft rounds off a nostalgic few weeks for the aviation community.
Enthusiasts around the world have already been treated to a British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) liveried Boeing 747-400, a British European Airways (BEA) Airbus A319 and a British Airways Landor 747-400, which have collectively flown to more than 30 destinations across the UK, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North America.
The special series of designs have been introduced to mark British Airways’ centenary, as the airline celebrates its past while looking to the future. Alongside the heritage liveries, all new aircraft entering the fleet, including the A350, will continue to receive today’s Chatham Dockyard design.
Copyright Photo: Michael Kelly.
The Negus-liveried 747-400, registration G-CIVB, entered the IAC paint bay at Dublin Airport earlier this month where it was painted with the first version of the Negus livery which adorned the British Airways fleet from 1974-1980, directly after the merger of BOAC and BEA and the formation of the airline that customers know today. The aircraft will head to Cape Town later today for its first commercial flight in its retro design.
When it initially flew, the Negus livery was the first to carry “British Airways” since 1939, when the original British Airways Limited merged with Imperial Airways to form BOAC. Interestingly, the Union Flag is not present on the side of the aircraft as, like the final BEA aircraft livery, the flag began to be fully celebrated on the aircraft’s tailfin instead.
In its centenary year, British Airways is hosting a range of activities and events. The airline is hosting BA 2119 – a program, which will lead the debate on the future of flying and explore the future of sustainable aviation fuels, the aviation careers of the future and the customer experience of the future.
The airline will be working with expert partners to identify BA’s 100 Modern Britons; the people up and down the country who are currently shaping modern Britain, and of course, the year would not be complete without creating some special moments for customers – on and off board.
The centenary activity is taking place alongside the airline’s current five-year £6.5bn investment for customers. This includes the installation of the best quality WiFi and power in every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft. Earlier this week the airline also revealed its highly-anticipated new business class seat – ‘Club Suite’ – and confirmed it will arrive on the first of its A350 aircraft in July.
Today, the pictured Boeing 747-436 G-CIVB (msn 25811) of British Airways departed the paint shop at Dublin bound for London’s Heathrow Airport and regular service.
The Jumbo is painted in the 1973 Negus and Negus livery which was the first livery for British Airways in 1974 when BOAC and BEA merged to form BA. G-CIVB is also the fourth (and final) historic livery in the BA 100 celebrations.
This livery was unveiled in September 1973 on Boeing 707 G-AXXY.
Copyright Photo: Greenwing.