ETHOPIA REPORT RULES OUT PILOT ERROR, SAYING BOENG 737 MAX PLUNGED ON ITS OWN

, Magazine

Pilots on a doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight followed proper procedures and still couldn’t bring the 737 Max out of a dive, Ethiopia’s transport minister said, pressing manufacturer Boeing Co. to fix flight controls to avoid further disasters.

Boeing needs to review the flight-control system to ensure the plane’s safety, Ethiopian Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges said at a news conference in the capital of Addis Ababa on Thursday after completing a preliminary report. Aviation authorities should verify the issues have been adequately addressed “before the release of the aircraft to operations.”

The report adds to pressure on Boeing to prove its best-selling 737 Max jet is safe after Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 smashed into the ground about six minutes after takeoff on March 10. The disaster was the second involving a 737 Max in five months. A Lion Air plane plunged into the Java Sea in October and killed 189 people after an automatic system that can push the plane’s nose down was activated, and the model is now grounded worldwide as investigators probe its airworthiness and how it gained permission to fly.

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