Report: Ethiopian Pilots Followed Boeing Instructions Before Crash
The pilots of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 followed all of Boeing's recommended steps when their plane began to nose dive shortly after takeoff. But they still could not stop the plane from crashing. Those are the early findings from a report released Thursday by the Ethiopian government.
The Boeing 737 Max 8 jet crashed on March 10 just six minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa. All 157 passengers and crew members died.
The Ethiopian government said it based its report on flight data and cockpit voice recordings.
The plane's builder, Boeing, said it could not comment until it studies the full report. The company's 737 Max 8 jet has been criticized since a Lion Air flight crashed off the coast of Indonesia last October. That crash and the Ethiopian Airlines crash have several similarities, aviation experts say.
At the center of the crash investigation is the plane's flight-control system. Boeing and U.S. officials have said that pilots could regain control in emergencies if they followed a series of steps. Those steps include turning off a system designed to prevent the plane from crashing. This anti-stall system is known as MCAS. It was designed especially for the Max model.
Ethiopian investigators did not name the MCAS system in their report. But they recommended that Boeing examine "the aircraft flight control system related to the flight controllability." They also recommended that aviation officials confirm that issues have been fully addressed before permitting Max planes to fly again.
Boeing's 737 Max planes are currently not permitted to fly anywhere in the world. Boeing is working to fix the model's anti-stall system. The change must be approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other regulators.
The FAA said Monday that it expects Boeing's final software improvements for 737 Max airliners "in the coming weeks."
The report did not say whether Ethiopian officials were seeking only those software improvements or whether they want a larger update to the Max's flight controls.
It is also not clear whether the Ethiopian pilots followed all of Boeing's recommendations fully. The pilots followed Boeing's instructions to disconnect the MCAS system. But for a still-unknown reason, the pilots then seemed to turn the system on again. That information comes from an official familiar with the investigation, who spoke with The Associated Press on Wednesday. The official spoke on the condition of remaining unidentified because Ethiopia's report had not yet been released.
Boeing's emergency instructions advise pilots to turn off the MCAS system and to continue flying manually for the rest of the flight.
Ethiopian investigators did not talk about that issue at their press conference Thursday. They said the pilots had done what they were supposed to do.
In a statement Thursday, Ethiopian Airlines said its pilots followed Boeing instructions.
The Ethiopian officials did not say whether the MCAS system might have turned on again because of a broken sensor. One of the sensors, called Angle of Attack, did not work correctly in the Lion Air crash, which turned that plane's MCAS system on again.
David Hasse is an aviation expert and editor of the online publication airliners.de. He said it is important that the report found the Ethiopian pilots followed the correct steps provided by Boeing. That finding links the case more closely to the Lion Air crash.
Hasse said, "What is special about this case is that two crashes seem to have a very, very similar reason. This is something that is very rare in aviation."
Hasse said he questions whether all Boeing 737 Max planes should have been grounded after the Lion Air crash.
I'm Jonathan Evans.
1.flight data 飞行数据
According to the flight data recorder, all systems were working fine.
2.turn off 关闭
I have to get up and turn off the radio.
3.press conference 新闻发布会
She gave her reaction to his release at a press conference.
4.At the center of 在...中心
The government is at the center of the dispute.
5.The FAA said Monday that it expects Boeing's final software improvements for 737 Max airliners "in the coming weeks."
in the coming weeks 在未来几周
Hopefully we can sort that out in the coming weeks.
The real struggle will take place in the coming weeks.
6.Boeing and U.S. officials have said that pilots could regain control in emergencies if they followed a series of steps.
a series of 一系列的
The students have put forward a series of questions.
A series of technical foul-ups delayed the launch of the new product.
埃塞俄比亚航空公司302航班在起飞不久后开始俯冲，机长遵循了波音公司建议的所有步骤 。但是他们仍然没能阻止飞机坠毁 。这是埃塞俄比亚政府周四发布的报告中的初步结果 。
3月10日，波音737 Max 8客机从亚的斯亚贝巴机场起飞仅6分钟后坠毁 。机上157名乘客和机组人员全部罹难 。
失事客机的制造商波音飞机表示，在研究完整的报告之前不会发表评论 。自去年10月，狮航客机在印尼海岸坠海以来，波音737 Max 8客机一直备受指责 。航空专家表示，那次坠海事故与埃航坠毁有几个相似之处 。
坠机调查的核心是飞机的飞行控制系统 。波音公司和美国官员表示，如果飞行员遵循一系列操作，就可以在紧急情况下重新获得控制权 。这些操作包括关闭一个旨在防止飞机坠毁的系统 。这种防失速系统被称为MCAS 。它是专门为Max机型设计的 。
埃塞俄比亚调查人员并未在报告中提及MCAS系统 。但他们建议波音公司检查“与飞机可控性相关的飞机飞控系统” 。他们还建议航空官员，确认这些问题完全解决后再批准MAX机型飞行 。
波音737 Max飞机目前在全球禁飞 。波音公司正在努力修复该机型的防失速系统 。这项改动必须得到美国联邦航空管理局(FAA)和其他监管机构的批准 。
美国联邦航空局周一表示，预计波音将在“未来几周”对737 Max客机的软件进行最终升级 。
尚不确定埃航飞行员是否完全遵循了波音的所有建议 。飞行员按照波音的指令断开了自动防失速系统 。但不知是何原因似乎又重新打开了该系统 。该信息出自一位知情官员，他在周三接受了美联社的采访 。该官员谈到情况仍然不明，是因为埃方尚未完全公布这份报告 。
埃塞俄比亚调查人员在周四的新闻发布会上没有提到这一问题 。他们称，飞行员已经尽力他们应尽的职责 。
埃塞俄比亚官员并未说明自动防失速系统是否因传感器损坏而重新启动 。在狮航坠机事件中，其中一个名为“攻角”(Angle of Attack)的传感器失灵，导致飞机的自动防失速系统再次启动 。
戴维·哈斯（David Hasse）是一位航空专家，也是网络出版物《德国客机》的编辑 。他说，报告发现埃航飞行员遵循了波音公司提供的正确步骤，这一点至关重要 。这一结论将此次事故与狮航坠机事件联系地更加紧密 。
哈斯说，“这起事故的特别之处在于，两次坠机似乎有着非常、非常相似的原因 。这在航空业十分罕见 。”
哈斯表示，他怀疑，狮航坠机事件后是否就应该停飞所有波音737 Max机型 。