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Ethiopian Pilots Followed Emergency Procedures Before Fatal Crash

By Victoria M. Walker

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Ethiopian authorities said in a press conference on April 4 that the pilots of an Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed in March “performed all the procedures repeatedly,” but couldn’t save the plane.

Officials released a preliminary report detailing the final moments of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. They discovered that the aircraft was suitable to fly on the day of the crash, the crew was capable of flying the plane, and that takeoff appeared to be normal.

“Due to flight control problems, the Captain was unable to maintain the flight path and requested to return back to the departure airport,” the report read.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 took off from Addis Ababa on March 10 to Nairobi but crashed shortly after takeoff. All 157 people on board were killed. Reports say a flight-control system called MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) triggered repetitively during the flight, which pushed the nose down.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, investigators found that the cockpit crew of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet followed approved emergency procedures. The crash bore similarities to an October 2018 accident involving a Lion Air jet in Indonesia. All onboard the Lion Air flight were killed when it crashed into the Java Sea. The MAX 8 jet has been grounded in several countries following the incident, including the U.S.

Following the release of Ethiopian’s report, Boeing put out a statement.

“To ensure unintended MCAS activation will not occur again, Boeing has developed and is planning to release a software update to MCAS and an associated comprehensive pilot training and supplementary education program for the 737 MAX,” the statement read.

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Victoria M. Walker

Victoria M. Walker is an award-winning multimedia journalist and full-time lecturer in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film at her alma mater, Howard University. She was previously the breaking news and viral content video editor at The Washington Post.

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