Preliminary findings from the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crash inquiry reveal that the crew was unable to control the aircraft despite repeatedly performing required recovery procedures.
The Ethiopian transport ministry has released initial recommendations in the wake of the 10 March crash, which occurred as the aircraft departed Addis Ababa for Nairobi as flight ET302.
It stated, during a briefing on the findings, that the aircraft had a valid airworthiness certificate and that the crew had obtained the licences and qualifications necessary to conduct the flight.
The take-off roll appeared “very normal”, the ministry says.
But it refers to “uncommanded nose-down conditions” and adds that the crew “repeatedly” performed “all procedures” provided by the manufacturer “but was not able to control the aircraft”.
The ministry says it is recommending that the aircraft’s flight-control system should be “reviewed” by the manufacturer.
It adds that aviation authorities should “verify” that the review of the flight-control system has been “adequately addressed” by the manufacturer before the aircraft is released for operation.
Ethiopian Airlines says the preliminary report “clearly” shows that the pilot followed Boeing- and US FAA-approved procedures to handle the emergency.
“Despite their hard work and full compliance with the emergency procedures, it was very unfortunate that they could not recover the [aircraft] from the persistence of nose diving,” it adds.
“As the investigation continues with more detailed analysis, as usual we will continue with our full co-operation with the investigation team.”
For all our updated coverage of the Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 crash, visit our dedicated page.