Tag Archives: Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302

Ethiopian Airlines pushes back on criticism of its pilots, states the Boeing 737 MAX has a problem

Ethiopian's first MAX 8, delivered on July 1, 2018

Ethiopian Airlines is pushing back strongly against criticism that its pilots were to blame for the tragic MAX accident.

The airline issued this statement:

Although we don’t want to comment on the investigation as it is still going on and we believe it is too early to comment, we would like to highlight some factual statements based on the preliminary report of the accident investigation.

Ethiopian airlines has the largest Aviation Academy in Africa with the most modern training devices and facilities of global standards which is accredited by all required national, regional and international regulatory agencies. Ethiopian Airlines is among the very few airlines in the world and the only one in Africa which has acquired and operates the Boeing 737 MAX 8 full flight simulator. However, it’s very unfortunate that the Boeing 737 MAX 8 simulator was not configured to simulate the MCAS operation by the aircraft manufacturer.

Ethiopian requirement for command position is over 3500 hours which is way above the FAA requirement of 1500 hours. In this case ET302 captain has a total of over 8000 hours of which 3445 hours is on Boeing 737NG. He was upgraded to commander position with over 6500 total hours. The First Officer was a graduate of Ethiopian Aviation Academy after successfully completing the required training per ICAO standards for the Commercial Pilot License and gone through the type rating training on Boeing 737NG and Boeing recommended and FAA approved differences training on Boeing 737 MAX 8 before he is assigned as co-pilot and he has exceeded the minimum ICAO requirement.

The preliminary accident investigation report, which has been conducted by a joint team from Ethiopia, USA, France and EASA, has made it abundantly clear that the Ethiopian Airlines’ pilots have followed the procedures of the aircraft manufacturer.

Any effort that is being made to divert public attention from the flight control system problem of the airplane is a futile exercise because it is not based on factually correct analysis.

The fact that the entire world have grounded more than 370 Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes speaks loud and clear that the airplane has a problem.

It is important to refer to the safety recommendation part of the aircraft accident investigation preliminary report, which says:

SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS.
• Since the repetitive un-commanded aircraft nose down conditions are noticed in this preliminary investigation it is recommended that the aircraft flight control system related to flight controllability shall be reviewed by the manufacturer.
• Aviation Authorities shall verify that the review of the aircraft flight control system related to flight controllability has been adequately addressed by the manufacturer before the release of the aircraft to operations.

We would also like to focus on the following facts:
• The automated anti stall feature (MCAS) was not known by airlines and pilots until after the Lion Air accident.
Even after the Lion Air accident the bulletin released by Boeing and the FAA airworthiness directive did not mention MCAS at all.
It was a major failure that the MCAS was designed to be automatically activated by a single source of information (Only one angle of attack sensor).
• Although the pilots followed the procedures as stipulated in the bulletin and the airworthiness directive none of the expected warnings appeared in the cockpit which deprived the pilots of necessary and timely information on the critical phase of the 6 minutes flight.
• As per the preliminary report, there is no evidence of any foreign object damage (bird strike or any other object) on the angle of attack sensor.

Since flight safety is our collective priority and should not be compromised by any means and not a single life should be at risk, we strongly believe that the recommendations made by the preliminary report should be fully implemented.

Ethiopian Airlines would like to assure all concerned that it will continue to cooperate with the investigation authorities.

Top Copyright Photo: One of the grounded MAX 8s: Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 ET-AVM (msn 62446) DUB (Greenwing). Image: 942621.

Ethiopian Airlines aircraft slide show:

 

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NBC: Ethiopian Airlines is not sure it will fly the Boeing 737 MAX again

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt has made this announcement for a segment to air tonight:

The CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam, tells NBC News in an exclusive interview that he is not sure his airline will ever fly the 737 MAX again, saying: “If we fly them again, we’ll be the last airline to fly them again.”  He added, “At this stage, I cannot fully say that the airplane will fly back on Ethiopian Airlines. It may if we are fully convinced and if we are able to convince our pilots, if we are ever to convince our traveling public.”

He continued, “Because, you know, other airlines have grounded the airplane, but in our case beyond grounding the airplane, we had this tragic accident just a couple of months ago. So it takes a lot of efforts to convince everybody that the airplane is safe. But beyond that, I think we have to convince ourselves and we want to do that.”

Ethiopian Airlines CEO wants rigorous review of Boeing 737-MAX planes following fatal crash

By Tom Costello

 

Two months after Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed, killing all 157 people on board, the CEO of the airline said his crews and passengers have lost confidence in the Boeing 737-MAX and he wants the company to conduct a more thorough review of the plane.

 

In an exclusive interview with NBC News on Monday, Tewolde Gebremariam said that the airline doesn’t yet know if it will fly the Boeing 737-MAX planes again. But he said, “At this stage I cannot, I cannot fully say that the airplane will fly back on Ethiopian Airlines. It may, if we are fully convinced and if we are able to convince our pilots, if we are ever to convince our traveling public.”

 

However, he also said that if the planes were back in service, Ethiopian Airlines would be “the last airline to fly them again.” “We have not got a time to discuss on the return to service and we have made it very clear on several occasions we would not be the first one to return their airplane back to air.”

 

Gebremariam said it’s not enough for Boeing to only review the “MCAS” anti-stall system believed responsible for the fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. He wants a much more rigorous review of the plane.

 

“We strongly believe that entire flight control system needs to be reviewed,” he said.

 

The Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10 followed a Lion Air crash in Indonesia last October. The two crashes were responsible for 346 deaths.

 

Investigators in both countries say the Boeing 737-MAX’s new MCAS anti-stall system seems to have played a role.

 

“It’s very abnormal for a new airplane to have two accidents, fatal accidents in a span of five months,” he said. “These are brand new airplanes.”

 

Boeing has admitted that “MCAS” misfired, putting both the Indonesian and Ethiopian planes into a fatal nose dive. The company is expected to submit its software fix for Federal Aviation Administration approval later this month.

 

But investigators have also noted the Ethiopian pilots were flying much faster than is typical, more than 500 miles per hour.

 

Still, Gebremariam insisted the pilots did everything they could to save their plane.

 

“They have followed the procedures correctly,” he said. “This should not happen again to any airline, even a single life should not be put at risk.”

 

Boeing said in a statement, “Boeing is working closely with pilots, airlines and global regulators to update the max and help prevent this tragic loss of life from happening again.”

 

Gebremariam said the airline’s relationship with Boeing goes back more than 60 years, and he has confidence in Boeing, even if his crews have lost confidence in the 737-MAX.

 

“We still have very strong confidence in Boeing, but we want them to do the right thing without rushing to make sure this airplane is safe and clear confidence in all of us before it returns back to air.”

Video: Rogue Boeing 737 Max planes ‘with minds of their own’

New video from 60 Minutes Australia:

Liz Hayes investigates the disaster of Boeing’s 737 MAX jetliner. Why two supposedly state-of-the-art and safe planes crashed killing 346 people; why pilots now fear flying the 737 MAX; and whether Boeing could have averted the catastrophes.

Boeing statement on Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 Investigation Preliminary Report

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.

Dennis Muilenburg
Chairman, President & CEO
The Boeing Company

Ethiopian Airlines: Clarification on the total flying time of the First Officer

Ethiopian Airlines issued this statement:

“The total flying time of the First Officer is 350 hours. Moreover; the Pilot in command is a senior pilot who has accumulated 8,100 hours.

According to ICAO regulations any CPL holder can act as F/O in multi engine jet commercial flight up on successful completion of the full Type Rating training on the type of A/C. According to ICAO, it only requires a maximum of 200Hrs to hold CPL. Ethiopian airlines in its effort to enhance safety established a crew pairing policy where by a less experienced F/O flies only with highly experienced Capt and vice versa.”

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker.

Boeing CEO Muilenburg issues statement on Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 accident investigation

Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg issued the following statement regarding the report from Ethiopian Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges on March 17.

First and foremost, our deepest sympathies are with the families and loved ones of those onboard Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

Boeing continues to support the investigation, and is working with the authorities to evaluate new information as it becomes available. Safety is our highest priority as we design, build and support our airplanes.  As part of our standard practice following any accident, we examine our aircraft design and operation, and when appropriate, institute product updates to further improve safety.

(PRNewsfoto/Boeing)

While investigators continue to work to establish definitive conclusions, Boeing is finalizing its development of a previously-announced software update and pilot training revision that will address the MCAS flight control law’s behavior in response to erroneous sensor inputs.

We also continue to provide technical assistance at the request of and under the direction of the National Transportation Safety Board, the U.S. Accredited Representative working with Ethiopian investigators.

In accordance with international protocol, all inquiries about the ongoing accident investigation must be directed to the investigating authorities.

Reuters looks at the Ethiopian Airlines MAX 8 crash flight data

Reuters has taken an in-depth look at the Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crash data.

According to Reuters, “the plane failed to climb more than 1,000 feet above ground in an area surrounded by high terrain.”

When compared to the Lion Air crash, “both planes appear to have lost altitude in the first few minutes of their flights”.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker.