In addition to documented problems with the Boeing 737 MAX, new reports suggest a bird strike could have complicated things further aboard the doomed Ethiopian Airlines Fight 302. Unnamed aviation officials believe an accident shortly after takeoff may have caused erroneous in-flight reports for the pilots.
A new report coming out suggests that a common hazard to commercial aircraft could have been a factor in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. CNBC reports American aviation officials believe the fatal sequence of events could have been triggered by a bird strike.
First reported by The Wall Street Journal, the latest hypothesis suggests the 737 MAX aircraft involved in the incident may have hit a bird shortly after take-off. As a result, the anti-stall system gave bad data to the anti-stall system, resulting in the crash.
The anti-stall system in question has been highly suspect throughout the investigation of both ET302 and Lion Air Flight 610. Reports allege Boeing knew about safety flaws aboard the next-generation aircraft and that certain safety features were sold as an upgrade to the airframe. Anonymous whistleblowers inside Boeing’s factory in South Carolina told the New York Times that their operation is plagued with “shoddy production and weak oversight” on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner production.
But Ethiopian is flat-out denying the claims. In a statement to the media, the airline claims there was “no evidence of any foreign object damage” in preliminary crash reports.
However, the investigation – and aftermath of the incident – is far from over. According to Reuters, Boeing is also facing a $276 million lawsuit from a widow of the ET302 crash. In the lawsuit, the French woman accuses Boeing of not disclosing safety issues with the software to pilots. On May 16, 2019, the Chicago-based manufacturer claimed they have a software update ready for the grounded 737 MAX aircraft.
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