Published on Thursday, April 4, 2019

Doomed Ethiopian Airlines' flight possibly brought down by bird strike

The pilots of the Ethiopian Airlines' Boeing 737 MAX plane which crashed on take-off, killing all 157 people onboard, did everything they could to save the flight after a sensor connected to anti-stall software was damaged, possibly by a bird strike.

A preliminary report into the crash, released this morning, shows that captain Yared Getachew and first officer Ahmednur Mohammod followed Boeing-approved procedures to handle the emergency.

The Ethiopian government is now calling on Boeing to review the aircraft's flight-control system. It said that aviation authorities should 'verify' that the review of the flight-control system has been 'adequately addressed' by the manufacturer before the Boeing 737 MAX is allowed back into the air.

They were grounded worldwide following the crash in March, which was the second involving the same aircraft type in three months.

In October 2018, a Lion Air flight crashed shortly after taking off from Jakarta airport in Indonesia, killing all 189 onboard.

Following the release today of the preliminary report into the Ethiopian Airlines' crash, Ethiopia's minister for transport Dagmawit Moges said: "The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft."

In a statement, Ethiopian Airlines said: "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.

"As the investigation continues with more detailed analysis, as usual we will continue with our full co-operation with the investigation team."

Boeing is working to submit an upgrade of the anti-stall software to the US regulators in a couple of weeks. It is also planning to introduce additional training for pilots.

Ethiopian Airlines' chief executive Tewolde GebreMariam, said he was 'very proud' of the pilots' 'high level of professional performance'.

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