Ethiopian Airlines crash liabilities $1 billion

by Garry Watts April 2, 2019, 1:05
Ethiopian Airlines crash liabilities $1 billion

Chicago-based Boeing is under intense scrutiny after two crashes since October killed 346 people.

Two minutes into the flight - at just 450ft (137m) above the ground - the aircraft's nose began to pitch down, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Ethiopia will release a preliminary report on Monday into the cause of an Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people last month and led to the worldwide grounding of U.S. planemaker Boeing's top-selling 737 MAX jet.

The Ethiopian Airlines jet took off from Addis Ababa on March 10 and ran into trouble nearly immediately, the Journal reported.

Families in 35 nations were left bereaved when the plane went down just minutes after takeoff from the highland capital on a flight south to neighbouring Kenya, crashing into a field.

The Wall Street Journal says the information it has "paints a picture of a catastrophic failure that quickly overwhelmed the flight crew".

The Ethiopian authorities have already said there are "clear similarities" between the Lion Air incident and the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

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The New York Times also reported the Ethiopian jet's data recorder yielded evidence that a sensor incorrectly triggered the anti-stall system, called the Manoeuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS.

As the crash site and black boxes are investigated, the 737 MAX 8 has been grounded worldwide as a precautionary measure and regulators are stepping up action to improve air safety while Boeing is carrying out a software upgrade to the plane's automated flight control system.

Boeing is working on an update to the MCAS software so it's less aggressive about pointing the nose down and easier for pilots to override it.

Federal prosecutors have asked Boeing to clarify their disclosures on the 737 Max's stall-prevention system.

Once activated, the MCAS forced the plane into a dive and ultimately a crash that killed everyone on board, the newspaper said.

Boeing and the FAA declined to comment to AFP.

Boeing has tried to restore its battered reputation, while continuing to insist the 737 Max is safe.

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