The United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), disagreed with at least two key findings of the Ethiopian government’s investigation report of the Boeing 737 Max-8 crash.
According to Reuters’ report, U.S. air safety experts say Ethiopian inspectors investigating the cause of an Ethiopian Airlines crash did not pay enough attention to crew training and emergency procedures in their report.
Ethiopian Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau issued the final investigation report of the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 flight ET302 on Dec 23. The report blamed Boeing for "uncommanded" inputs of the aircraft’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) as a cause of the accident that killed 157 people.
Head of Ethiopia's investigation bureau, Amdeye Ayalew, accused Boeing of its failure to "disclose early and attentively" issues with the 737-MAX 8's MCAS.
Dagmawit Moges, Minister of Transport and Logistics said during the final report presentation that “the pilots and the aircraft had legal licenses and it was confirmed that they were ready for flight. Moreover, the weight of the cargo was determined on the plane's capacity”.
The Ethiopian report remarked that the inputs sent from the MCAS sensor faulty data forced the plane’s nose down repeatedly resulting in a loss of control that the pilots couldn’t deal with.
The NTSB said in its comments that the Ethiopian investigators ignored the fact that it found the faulty sensor may have been damaged by a bird strike soon after take-off.
The Ethiopian report however asserted that its investigators did not find any evidence that the sensor was damaged in flight due to a lack of any physical clues like a dead bird in the vicinity of the flight's path.
It was previously confirmed by Boeing that it identified the issue with the MCAS safety feature after the Ethiopian crash which followed a similar incident of an Indonesian plane five months ago.
The NTSB has also pointed out a gap in the Ethiopian report saying the issue of crew management and performance are not sufficiently discussed.
A Boeing 737-8 Max aircraft flight number ET 302 crashed in the Gimbicho district near Bishoftu in March 2019 while flying from Addis Ababa to Kenya six minutes after taking off. The aircraft carried 149 passengers from 35 countries and 8 crew members, a total of 157 people died in the accident and the plane was completely destroyed.
Boeing 737 Max 8 was grounded globally after the accident. This cost Boeing 20 billion USD and resulted in legal disputes that revealed flaws in the certification procedure.
After a 20-month grounding, the 737-MAX resumed flight by global operators and Ethiopia was one of the last countries to put the aircraft back in the air.