Boeing: French investigators find crash 'similarities'

Mar 19, 2019, 00:47
Boeing: French investigators find crash 'similarities'

The United States and many other countries then grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 as it had also been used in the Lion Air crash in October in Indonesia.

Boeing has said it is finalising a software update and pilot training revision related to MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) in 737 Max, following two deadly air crashes in less than five months.

According to a preliminary report on the crash, the pilots first manually corrected an "automatic aircraft nose down" two minutes after takeoff and performed the same procedure again and again before the plane hurtled nose-first into the Java Sea, the report said.

Both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder were sent to Paris for analysis by the French air accident investigation agency BEA.

But despite the recent sell-off, Boeing was still up 14% this year as the company's fourth-quarter-earnings report highlighted strong fundamentals and positive expectations surrounding the rollout of the 777X, its 747 replacement.

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The planes in both crashes flew with erratic altitude changes that indicated the pilots struggled to override fatal nose dives triggered by automated controls.

Black box data recovered from an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner that crashed last week show "clear similarities" with a recent crash in Indonesia of the same type of aircraft, Ethiopia's transport minister said on Sunday.

The Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) is an automated safety feature on the 737 Max 8 created to prevent the plane from entering into a stall, or losing lift.

Shortly after takeoff, both crews tried to return to airports but crashed.

Pressure is mounting, with the US Association of Flight Attendants-CWA union urging the FAA to "temporarily ground the 737 Max fleet in the US out of an abundance of caution".

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The latest revelations put a spotlight on whether the Boeing 737 MAX underwent proper assessment prior to obtaining a green light to market, and the FAA's practice of delineating the responsibility of assessing a new model to the aircraft manufacturer.

The US Department of Transportation, along with federal prosecutors at the Justice Department, have launched a probe into the development of the Boeing 737 MAX and issued a subpoena on at least one individual involved in the trouble-ridden plane's development, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The FAA has said that the Boeing 737 will not fly until a software update can be tested and installed.

According to engineers who worked on the system, Boeing's own analysis of the safety system had several crucial flaws, including underestimating the power of the system to control the horizontal tail to push the nose down to avert a stall.

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