(CTN News) – The investigation into the cause of an Ethiopian Airlines tragedy that claimed over 160 lives in 2019 was conducted by Ethiopian inspectors, according to U.S. aviation safety experts, who did not give enough attention to crew training and emergency protocols in their findings.
In dissenting remarks included in the Ethiopian report, the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) expressed disagreement with at least two significant conclusions of the investigation into the disaster of a Boeing 737-MAX aircraft.
The incident caused comparable planes to be grounded. Since Boeing is an American firm, the NTSB is engaged.
All 157 passengers and crew members were killed when Flight 302 crashed soon after takeoff from Addis Abeba in March 2019.
Last Friday, the Ethiopian Aircraft Investigation Bureau finally made its findings public. The Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, of Boeing, was cited as the cause of the crash for its “uncommanded” inputs.
The inputs, brought on by inaccurate data from a subordinate sensor, repeatedly sent the plane’s nose down, resulting in loss of control as the pilots attempted to respond to several warnings in the cabin, according to the study.
The NTSB claimed in its remarks that it discovered a bird attack might have damaged the defective sensor shortly after takeoff, but the Ethiopian investigators disregarded this claim.
Due to the absence of tangible hints, such as a dead bird in the aircraft’s course, the Ethiopians did not discover proof that the sensor had been destroyed in flight, according to their report.
Despite a limited search conducted by both parties a week after the accident, the NTSB reported that the sensor was never located at the crash scene.
In the past, Boeing has claimed that the MCAS was a safety feature and that the problems discovered after the accident of flight 302, which occurred after the crash of a similar aircraft in Indonesia five months earlier, had been resolved.
The NTSB further criticized its Ethiopian counterparts of placing more emphasis on the design flaws that contributed to the crash than on the crew’s own preparation and response to the situation that emerged.
The draught final report’s “discussion of crew resource management and performance was still not properly developed,” according to the NTSB.
After the inaccurate sensor inputs disrupted the anticipated automated sequence, the pilots were instructed to manually lower the throttle, it claimed.
The crew members were found to be licensed and qualified for flight following current Ethiopian Civil Aviation Rules and Standards but were startled by the unprecedented change of events and “confusing alerts” and blamed everything on the plane’s design, according to the Ethiopian investigators’ report.
According to the study, the constantly shifting flying scenario, disturbing alerts, and flight deck impacts “had a significant impact on the flight crew situational awareness and capacity to perceive each and every item to the detail.”
The investigative bureau pointed Reuters to the NTSB’s statement when prompted for more remarks.
Five months before the event involving Flight 302, a similar kind of aircraft crashed in Indonesia, killing 189 people.
The plane’s systems had an issue revealed by the incidents, and the model was grounded globally. This cost Boeing $20 billion and resulted in legal battles that revealed flaws in the certification process.
After a 20-month grounding, the 737-MAX is already being flown again by operators. Ethiopia was one of the last nations to put the 737 MAX back into use.