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‘Ethiopian crew followed procedure, but jet was out of control’

The crash site. PHOTO ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia | AFP | The crew of the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed last month killing 157 people, repeatedly followed procedures recommended by Boeing, but were unable to regain control of the jet, the Ethiopian transport minister said Thursday.

“The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft,” said Dagmawit Moges, unveiling results of the preliminary probe into the crash.

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.

Meanwhile, the head of Ethiopian Airlines said Thursday he was proud of the efforts of the pilots in trying to stop their jet from crashing, as he repeated condolences to the families of the 157 people who died.

“We are very proud of our pilots’ compliances to follow the emergency procedures, and high level of professional performances in such extremely difficult situations,” CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said in a statement.

“All of us at Ethiopian Airlines are still going through deep mourning for the loss of our loved ones, and we would like to express our deep sympathy and condolences for the families, relatives and friends of the victims,” he added.

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