Pilots followed guidance but could not control Ethiopian plane

Ethiopian Airlines pilots followed proper guidance before the fatal crash of a Boeing 737 Max 8 plane last month, Ethiopia’s transport minister has said as she delivered the first official report on the disaster.

“The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft,” Dagmawit Moges told a news conference in Addis Ababa.

She recommended that Boeing review the aircraft control system and that aviation authorities should confirm the problem had been solved before allowing the model of plane to fly again. It was grounded globally following the disaster, which was the second deadly crash in six months involving the new model.

“Since repetitive uncommanded aircraft nose-down conditions are noticed … it is recommended that the aircraft control system shall be reviewed by the manufacturer,” she said.

Families of the 157 victims, along with regulators and travellers around the world, are waiting for information on the cause of the disaster in which the Boeing jet crashed six minutes after take-off.

A Lion Air 737 Max 8 crashed five months earlier in Indonesia killing all 189 onboard.

The preliminary report into the Lion Air disaster said the pilots lost control after grappling with the plane’s manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system (MCAS), a new automated anti-stall feature that repeatedly lowered the nose of the aircraft based on faulty data from a sensor.

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