Boeing admits software malfunctioned

April 6, 2019
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As the report of the preliminary investigation of the Ethiopian Airline crash was released, aircraft manufacturer Boeing says it will review the report, and make necessary adjustment.

A statement by Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ President and CEO, Kevin McAllister, on Thursday, in Addis Ababa, said that understanding the circumstances that contributed to the accident was critical to ensuring safe flight.

According to Mr McAllister, “we will carefully review the AIB’s preliminary report and will take any and all additional steps necessary to enhance the safety of our aircraft.”

He said that safety was a core value for everyone at Boeing and the safety of its airplanes, customers, passengers and crews was always a top priority.

“Boeing’s technical experts continue to assist in this investigation and company-wide teams are working to address lessons from the Lion Air Flight 610 accident in October.

“The preliminary report contains flight data recorder information indicating the airplane had an erroneous angle of attack sensor input that activated the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) function during the flight, as it had during the Lion Air 610 flight.

“To ensure unintended MCAS activation will not occur again, Boeing has developed and is planning to release a software update to MCAS and an associated comprehensive pilot training and supplementary education program for the 737 MAX.

“As previously announced the update adds additional layers of protection and will prevent erroneous data from causing MCAS activation.

“Flight crews will always have the ability to override MCAS and manually control the airplane,” he said.

McAllister said that Boeing would continue to work with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and other regulatory agencies worldwide on the development and certification of the software update and training program.

He added that the manufacturer would also continue to work closely with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as technical advisors in support of the Ethiopian AIB investigation.

According to him, as a party providing technical assistance under the direction of investigating authorities, Boeing is prevented by international protocol and NTSB regulations from disclosing any information relating to the investigation.

“In accordance with international protocol, information about the investigation is provided only by investigating authorities in charge.

“I will like to reiterate that our deepest sympathies are with the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in the accident.

“We thank the Ethiopia’s Accident Investigation Bureau for its hard work and continuing efforts,” he said.

Ethiopian Airlines had on Thursday disclosed in its preliminary report, that the pilots of the ill-fated aircraft followed instructions that Boeing recommended and FAA approved emergency procedures to handle the most difficult emergency situation created on the airplane.

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