Trial Firm Colson Hicks Eidson Discusses Ethiopian Airlines Preliminary Crash Report

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On March 10, 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, crashed six minutes after takeoff from Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. All 157 passengers and crew members were fatally injured in the crash.

The preliminary crash report was published on April 4, 2019 by Ethiopia's Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB). According to AAIB's preliminary report, pilots on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 followed Boeing's outlined emergency procedures, but could not ultimately regain control of the aircraft once it moved into a 40-degree nose-dive.

Early into the flight, the aircraft's left angle-of-attack (AOA) sensor started pulling erroneous altitude readings. The left AOA sensor read 74.5 degrees in comparison to the right sensor's 15.3 degrees. This caused the aircraft's left stick shaker, a warning to the pilot that the aircraft could stall, to activate for most of the flight.

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 contains an anti-stall system that could cause the aircraft to nosedive in an attempt to keep itself from stalling. Like the Lion Air Flight 610 crash last October, the aircraft's digital flight data recorder (DFDR) recorded four instances of automatic nose down (AND) commands without human input. The captain ordered subsequent automatic nose up commands to override the aircraft's anti-stall system.

Investigators found four maintenance logs of relevance in the aircraft's maintenance log book (MLB) from December 2018. According to the MLB, the aircraft experienced few instances of "temporary erratic airspeed and altitude fluctuations" but then returned to normal. No problems with the aircraft's airspeed or altitude values were recorded during a delivery flight.

It is important to note that the preliminary crash report does not specify that the aircraft's anti-stall system, called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), caused the aircraft to nosedive. It is estimated that the final report will be released within one year. Even so, Boeing released a statement addressing the preliminary crash report and the aircraft's MCAS.

Boeing's press release acknowledged the similarities between Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610. The statement indicated that the aircraft's AOA sensor sent erroneous data to the aircraft's flight control system and activated the MCAS in both flights.

Since the crash, the Boeing 737 MAX 8 model has been grounded all over the world. The United States has also grounded the 737 MAX 9 model. The Boeing Company is undergoing a review of its software systems to address all issues with the MCAS. Then it will be submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for testing.

About Colson Hicks Eidson

Colson Hicks Eidson is a Miami-based trial firm that represents accident victims and their families all over the nation. Their aviation accident attorneys have handled litigation in the past against Boeing and air carriers like Lion Air. They have recovered more than one billion dollars for clients nationwide in settlements and verdicts.

Source: Colson Hicks Eidson


Categories: Legal Services

Tags: 737MAX, Boeing, EthiopianAirlines, EthiopianAirlinesCrash

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