Crew followed procedure, but unable to control Ethiopian jet: minister

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Crew followed procedure, but unable to control Ethiopian jet: minister

Addis Ababa (Agencies): The crew of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed last month, killing at least 157 people on board, repeatedly followed procedures recommended by Boeing, but were unable to regain control of the jet, Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges has said.


Moges made the announcement at a press conference on Thursday as she unveiled the results of the preliminary probe into the crash.

"The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft," Dagmawit said, citing data from the Boeing 737 MAX 8's recorders.

She said the report recommends "the aircraft flight control system shall be reviewed by the manufacturer."

"Aviation authorities shall verify that the review of the aircraft flight control system has been adequately addressed by the manufacturer before the release of the aircraft for operations".

Dagmawit did not make specific reference to the automatic anti-stalling system which has been implicated in the crash, but did mention a "repetitive nose-down" movement of the aircraft.

The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) is designed to automatically lower the aircraft's nose if it detects a stall or loss of airspeed.

David Learmount, consulting editor for Flight Global, told Al Jazeera it was not clear what triggered the nose-down, but said that "the crew reacted quite correctly by carrying out a drill that has been prescribed if this occurs and isolated this system that was trying to push the nose down."

"But having done that, they then found that one of the control systems that they have for pulling the nose back up again simply wouldn't perform for them," he added, speaking from London.