Boeing software under scrutiny as Ethiopia prepares crash report

Boeing software under scrutiny as Ethiopia prepares crash report

Boeing software under scrutiny as Ethiopia prepares crash report

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.

The family of an American woman killed in the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the airline, Boeing Co and Rosemount Aerospace Inc, the manufacturer of a part of the aircraft that is the focus of investigators. "But that's too long", she said, surrounded by her family members in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.

The so-called MCAS software is at the centre of accident probes in both the crash of Ethiopian flight 302 and a Lion Air accident in Indonesia five months earlier that together killed 346 people. Initial results of the accident investigation are due within days.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian investigators have reportedly concluded the pilots of the Ethiopian jet followed Boeing's emergency steps to disable the MACS, but to no avail.

Speaking to reporters at a news conference in Addis Ababa, Moges suggested that Boeing review "the aircraft flight control system related to the flight controllability".

It said air speed and altitude values on the left side of the 737 Max conflicted with data from the right sensor, causing flight control problems.

Typically, a preliminary report from air crash investigators doesn't seek to find fault.

The other recommends that aviation authorities review changes to the flight control system ahead of the release of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft "to operations".

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

"In an emergency like this, that MCAS software is a monster".

Both planes had an automated system that pushed the nose down when sensor readings detected the danger of an aerodynamic stall, and it now appears that sensors malfunctioned on both planes.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which has come under fire over the way it made a decision to certify the plane and its MCAS software, cautioned the investigation had not yet concluded.

The FAA said in a statement that it is continuing to work toward a full understanding of what happened and will take appropriate action as findings become available. Eventually the Ethiopian Airlines pilots couldn't keep the plane from crashing into the ground, killing all 157 people on board.

The airline said it was "very proud of our pilots' compliances to follow the emergency procedures and high level of professional performances in such extremely hard situations".

They had also not identified any structural design problem with the aircraft, the news service said. Flight crews will always have the ability to override MCAS and manually control the airplane.

"So we don't have any reservations, so far, from different stakeholders which were engaged in the investigation process", she said.

Ethiopian investigators did not address that issue at Thursday's news conference, saying only that the pilots had done what they were supposed to.

Aviation safety analyst Paul Hayes said deeper investigation would delve into the role played by software and how pilots were able to respond, and said he hoped scars from the 2010 dispute would not get in the way of a comprehensive investigation.

The pilots of a doomed Ethiopian Airlines jet followed all of Boeing's recommended procedures when the plane started to nose dive but still couldn't save it, according to findings from a preliminary report released Thursday by the Ethiopian government.

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