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Ethiopian Airlines: Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes on way to Kenya [ET302 ADD-NBO 10MAR19]

Ethiopian Airlines: Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes on way to Kenya [ET302 ADD-NBO 10MAR19]

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Old Mar 20, 19, 1:12 am   -   Wikipost
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Boeing 737 MAX 8 ET 302 registration ET-AVJ from Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) to Nairobi (Kenya) with 149 passengers and 8 crew, was lost 10 March 2019 shortly after takeoff at 08:44L (05:44Z). There were no survivors.

Boeing 737 MAX 8 registration ET-AVJ performing flight ET-302 from Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) to Nairobi (Kenya) with 149 passengers and 8 crew, departed Addis Ababa's runway 07R and was climbing out of Addis Ababa when the aircraft levelled off at about 9000 feet MSL, radar contact was lost shortly after at 08:44L (05:44Z). The aircraft wreckage was found near Ejere at approximate position N8.8772 E39.2512. No survivors were found.

In a subsequent press conference on Mar 10th 2019 Ethiopian Airlines reported the crew reported difficulties and requested a return to Addis Ababa. The captain was with Ethiopian Airlines for 9 years and had about 8000 hours of flight experience, a first officer with 200 flight hours assisted, there were 35 nationalities amongst the 149 passengers. The crash site appears to be consistent with a steep dive, the aircraft is right inside the ground. The aircraft had undergone last "rigorous first check maintenance" on Feb 4th 2019. The aircraft had last operated to and from Johannesburg (South Africa) arriving back in Addis Ababa in the morning of Mar 10th 2019 before departing for the accident flight.

Link to Aviation Herald discussion.
The incident appeared similar to the 29 October 2018 crash of Lion Air 610, operated by a B38M.

Indonesian carrier Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29 crashed into the sea soon after takeoff with the loss of all aboard, apparently due to the erroneous data from a faulty Angle of Attack sensor, which caused the MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) to assume the plane was about to stall, which activated the downward force on the Stabilizer Trim to get the nose down. Link to BBC article.

This aircraft had been written up as having a faulty AOA indicator for previous flights it had taken. It is unclear if Lion Air had performed adequate maintenance procedures after the reports or withdraw the aircraft from service until the fault could be completely cleared.

Link to Aviation Herald discussion.

“Instead of switching off the Stabilizer Trim the pilots appear to have battled the system.” Link
Boeing 737 MAX and MCAS: See “What is the Boeing 737 MAX Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System?”, updated November 17 to explain the MCAS and electric trim override operation, here: link.

Boeing has stated a revised MCAS is in the works, and the FAA is expected to issue an AD note when the MCAS update is done. This is expected to occur in early April, 2019.

355 B38M deliveries have been carried out through 1 March 2019, out of 5,123 orders. Link to Wikipedia B38M list of Airlines, orders and deliveries.
Ethiopian Airlines ordered 25 Boeing 737 MAX 8 (B38M) and at the time of the crash of ET 302 on 10 March 2019. ET also operates 10 Boeing 737-700 and 16 Boeing 737-800 aircraft as part of its fleet.

Ethiopian Airlines is the flag carrier of Ethiopia, and commenced operations on 8 April 1946, expanding to international flights in 1951. The firm became a share company in 1965 and changed its name from Ethiopian Air Lines to Ethiopian Airlines. The airline has been a member of the International Air Transport Association since 1959 and of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) since 1968. Ethiopian is a Star Alliance member, having joined in December 2011.

As of November 2017, the carrier served 105 international and 20 domestic passenger destinations and 44 cargo destinations. Ethiopian serves more destinations in Africa than any other airline. Ethiopian Airlines’ fleet consists of 106 aircraft.

- Wikipedia (link)
7 Nov 2018: The US Federal Aviation Administration / FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD note) covering the AOA within a few days, giving US carriers 30 days to comply with the AD note.

6 Nov 2018: Boeing issued revised operating instructions covering the revised MCAS used in the MAX 8, updating the MAX operations manual. See the manual update and the switches referenced. See Aviation Herald discussion for information.

10 March 2019: ET 302, operated by Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 ET-AVJ departing Addis Ababa to Nairobi turned back to the airport soon after takeoff, but crashed with the loss of all aboard.

Link to BBC article.

Link to Aviation Herald discussion.

11 March 2019: The US National Transportation Board / NTSB has dispatched an investigation team, as have Boeing, to Addis Ababa to assist the Ethiopian investigators in determining the cause(s) of the crash. The “black boxes” (cockpit voice and the flight data recorder have been recovered.

11 March 2019: Ethiopian Airlines announced airline both “black boxes” - the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder are recovered.

11 Mar 2019: China grounded its 737 MAX 8 (not MAX 9) fleet, and a number of countries have followed suit on 12 March 2019, including the United Kingdom and the European Union.Link to New York Times article.

11 March 2019: The US FAA stated it would not ground US (AA, UA, WN) 737 MAX aircraft at this time.

Link to FAA Airworthiness Notification for USA registered B38M aircraft PDF.

Link to Wall Street Journal article.

12 March 2019: The USA and Canada are the only countries allowing the B38M to remain in operation.

13 March 2019: Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam requests grounding of all B38M aircraft until the cause(s) of the crash of ET 302 is learned.

13 March 2019: Canada grounds Canadian B38Ms and bans B38M departures, arrivals and overflights.

13 March 2019: All USA operated Boeing 737 MAX -8 and -9 aircraft are grounded by US Federal Aviation Administration emergency order. At this time, all 737 MAX 8 are grounded until further notice.

14 March 2019: It is announced the French BEA will retrieve the data from the Ethiopian Cockpit Voice Recorder and Flight Data Recorder.

Link to Eight things you might not know about black boxes
By Cristen Tilley, ABC Australia

15 March 2019: Aircraft manufactured Boeing plans to roll out a software upgrade for its 737 Max aircraft in 10 days. The US FAA is expected to sign off on the anti-stall modification to the MAX software 25 March. CNBC

17 Mar 2019: The French BEA stated the Flight Data Recorder data have been given to the Ethiopian Investigation Team. Borpth CVR and FDR “black boxes” have been downloaded and turned over to investigators.

17 Mar 2019 the Ethiopian Transport Minister said: "Recently, the FDR and CVR of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 have been successfully read out. Our experts and US experts have verified the accuracy of the information. The Ethiopian government accepted the information, and the cause of the crash is similar to the Indonesian Flight 610. A preliminary reported will be published in a month with a detailed analysis. We are grateful to the French Government for its ongoing support." - Aviation Herald

17 Mar 2019 Ethiopian Airlines Twitter Account (Link) posted "The total flying time of the First Officer is 350 hours. Moreover, the Pilot in command is a senior pilot who has accumulated 8,100 hours. According to ICAO regulations any CPL holder can act as F/O in multi engine jet commercial flight up on successful completion of the full Type Rating training on the type of A/C. According to ICAO, it only requires a maximum of 200HRs to hold CPL. Ethiopean airlines in its effort to enhance safety established a crew pairing policy where by a less experienced F/O flies only with highly experienced Capt and vice versa".

17 Mar 2019: “Ethiopian transport minister Dagmawit Moge told reporters on Sunday that an evaluation of the black boxes from Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 and Lion Air Flight JT610 showed "clear similarities." - Link to Business Insider article.

18 Mar 2019: Aviation Herald learns new information of ET 302 departure routing and airport communication, and the possibility MAX simulator training and inclusion of training relating to MCAS and the JT 610 lessons learned may not have reached all ET cockpit crew due to the simulator training requirements of six month periodicity. Link.

19 Mar 2019: The Secretary if the US Department of Transportation, of which the Federal Aviation Administration is part of, has requested the Inspector General conduct a formal audit “to compile an objective and detailed factual history of the activities that resulted in the certification of the Boeing 737-MAX 8 aircraft” as part of an ongoing review of factors related to the MAX aviation certification. Link

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Old Mar 15, 19, 5:27 am
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
The French BEA has agreed to recover the data from the Ethiopian Cockpit Voice Recorder and Flight Data Recorder.
The black box has arrived in France and Boeing has "paused" deliveries of the Max. So all's well on that front.

I read something today that gave me pause. The FAA and Boeing took a great risk with ETOPS 180 and later 240. But they got away with that risk. A whole lot of B777's were sold and many millions of passengers took advantage of lower costs and direct overseas flights. It was innovative and highly successful, but still rather risky. Yet despite that risk that still exists today, we happily fly overseas on B777's, B787's and A330's and A350's. Some of us have flown millions of miles on these twin engine aircraft.

So perhaps that huge success led both Boeing and the FAA to think a little too much of themselves when the MAX design came along. Further that success led the rest of the world to simply follow Boeing and the FAA and accept that the MAX was just fine. Thus we are all guilty. Pretty much the whole world is in a way responsible because the whole world has benefited from risky aviation.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 6:42 am
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Originally Posted by manneca View Post
One of the NPR programs had an American Airlines pilot on. He was po'ed that Boeing had provided so little information on the MCAS system on the MAX. He said their training was a few hours on an iPad. He is urging training on a simulator. I remember that when the Lion Air plane crashed that Boeing hadn't even told airlines about the new system.
and
Originally Posted by chrisfwm View Post
This is unbelievable. Washingtonpost now reporting AA pilots met with Boeing last year, they demanded change and training, and the training Beoing later gave, was an ipad video that has nothing about MCAS.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...a61_story.html
The WP article that chrisfwm shared quoted Dennis Tajer, a 737 Captain and spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association. Mr. Tajer was also interviewed on National Pubic Radio's All Things Considered program, as manneca noted. Here's the link to the segment posted on NPR's website:
NPR - Why The Allied Pilots Association Still Has Confidence In Boeing's 737 Max 8 Jets (March 13, 2019)
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Old Mar 15, 19, 8:38 am
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Originally Posted by Diogenes1789 View Post
Since the only problem observed with the 737-Max-8 seems have been erratic flying after takeoff, (including pitching the nose downward), wouldn't it be safe to fly the planes without using the autopilot on and after take-off (until some substantial altitude had been obtained)? I had always assumed (incorrectly, I see) that auto pilot was normally engaged after an aircraft was in flight, and not on takeoff.
MCAS is inhibited when the autopilot is on.

Minimum autopilot engagement altitude after takeoff is 800'.

I typically hand-fly the takeoff through 15,000'-20,000'. I disconnected prior to landing descending through about 10,000'. That's my 'normal' that I then adjust based on the complexity of the weather and ATC situation. I had never engaged the autopilot immediately after takeoff (at the 800' minimum) before but did so last week based on the information from the Ethiopian crash. It's more work than it's worth. The 737 A/P won't engage if any control pressure is being applied. During the first few thousand feet of climb you're accelerating and reconfiguring so control forces are constantly changing making it difficult to find a time to engage it.
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Last edited by LarryJ; Mar 15, 19 at 12:18 pm
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Old Mar 15, 19, 9:07 am
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Originally Posted by Paella747 View Post
Okay, can I go off topic for sec and say how cool it is to have JDiver here?!? Such knowledgeable and informative posts! Lovin' me some FT! Thank you sir (ma'am?)!
I appreciate the time you take to explain things in detail!
It's sir.

Yes, thanks for JDiver's and the pilots who are posting in this thread
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Old Mar 15, 19, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
The black box has arrived in France and Boeing has "paused" deliveries of the Max. So all's well on that front.

I read something today that gave me pause. The FAA and Boeing took a great risk with ETOPS 180 and later 240. But they got away with that risk. A whole lot of B777's were sold and many millions of passengers took advantage of lower costs and direct overseas flights. It was innovative and highly successful, but still rather risky. Yet despite that risk that still exists today, we happily fly overseas on B777's, B787's and A330's and A350's. Some of us have flown millions of miles on these twin engine aircraft.

So perhaps that huge success led both Boeing and the FAA to think a little too much of themselves when the MAX design came along. Further that success led the rest of the world to simply follow Boeing and the FAA and accept that the MAX was just fine. Thus we are all guilty. Pretty much the whole world is in a way responsible because the whole world has benefited from risky aviation.
The A330 and A350 are Airbus, not Boeing. The remaining four engine passenger aircraft would be the 747 and A380, both of which are currently viewed as too big for most routes.

If an aircraft type is designed and tested to be able to fly on one of two engines in an emergency, I don't see a problem beyond the issues that apply to any aircraft, namely that there can always be some undetected design flaws, software flaws, training shortcomings, etc., no matter how qualified and careful everyone involved in the development process has been.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 9:38 am
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Hand flying is precisely the problem, because the MCAS will govern the flight and overrule the pilot with information from the (faulty, on Lion Air) AOA (angle of attack indicator) when the aircraft is flown manually.

Unless the two switches shown below are thrown past the stops into the CUT OUT position. Currently, if you don’t do that, you’re going to have a white knuckle fight with the airplane you’ll lose.

The MCAS software and operating manual changes seek to modify that.
Maybe you're right or maybe you do that and you still lose to the MCAS.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 6:42 pm
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
The black box has arrived in France and Boeing has "paused" deliveries of the Max. So all's well on that front.

I read something today that gave me pause. The FAA and Boeing took a great risk with ETOPS 180 and later 240. But they got away with that risk. A whole lot of B777's were sold and many millions of passengers took advantage of lower costs and direct overseas flights. It was innovative and highly successful, but still rather risky. Yet despite that risk that still exists today, we happily fly overseas on B777's, B787's and A330's and A350's. Some of us have flown millions of miles on these twin engine aircraft.

So perhaps that huge success led both Boeing and the FAA to think a little too much of themselves when the MAX design came along. Further that success led the rest of the world to simply follow Boeing and the FAA and accept that the MAX was just fine. Thus we are all guilty. Pretty much the whole world is in a way responsible because the whole world has benefited from risky aviation.
In my opinion, that’s not really accurate. ETOPS rating is based on a nipumber of factors, including a different maintenance schedule, etc. The 777 was nominated and initially approved for ETOPS 180 “out of the box” as long as all ETOPS requirements are met, but the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) disagreed and the Boeing 777 was rated ETOPS 120 in Europe upon service entry. The model has proved itself, and Air New Zealand ultimately secured ETOPS 330 for their Rolls-Royce Trent 800 powered 777-200ER powered by engines AKL-EZE. Then,

A350 First To Be Certified For 370min ETOPS. EASA has certified Airbus' new widebody, the A350-900, for extended-range twin engine aircraft operations (ETOPS) of up to 370 minutes. The A350's ETOPS certification is the first to be given beyond 180 minutes for a new aircraft type prior to entering service.
Btw the odd plane I’ve flown in was Aloha 737-200 ETOPS 120, HNL-MDY. See the ETOPS cert on the landing gear door. (Who’d have imagined little Albert would be certified for ETOPS?) Also note the very slim “stovepipe” low bypass engine nacelle compated with, say, the -800 and the MAX 8. When you look at the various accommodations such as pylons and the 6–8 in (150–200 mm) longer nose landing gear for the MAX 8 with the and for the CFM International LEAP-1B engine, you begin to see why Boeing had to deal with an (aircraft) attitude issue (which provides the justification for MCAS as well).


Aloha Boeing 737-200 ETOPS



SmartWings Boeing 737-800 (melhoresdestinos)



Garuda Boeing 737 MAX 8 (Euronews)

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Old Mar 15, 19, 6:55 pm
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Interesting update.

Shares of Boeing rebounded Friday after a report that the plane manufacturer plans to roll out a software upgrade for its 737 Max aircraft in 10 days.

The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to sign off on Boeing’s planned changes to its anti-stall software on March 25, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC. Lawmakers have been informed of the timeline, the person said. - link to CNBC article
Wow.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 7:21 pm
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I'd love to know the testing and certification processes behind software updates to flight control systems.
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Old Mar 16, 19, 1:49 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
The A330 and A350 are Airbus, not Boeing. The remaining four engine passenger aircraft would be the 747 and A380, both of which are currently viewed as too big for most routes.


Yes the A in A330 stands for Airbus. But I was writing about the B777 which was the first to exploit long range ETOPS.

If an aircraft type is designed and tested to be able to fly on one of two engines in an emergency, I don't see a problem beyond the issues that apply to any aircraft, namely that there can always be some undetected design flaws, software flaws, training shortcomings, etc., no matter how qualified and careful everyone involved in the development process has been.
You are missing the point that four engines are safer than two when flying over seas.
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Old Mar 16, 19, 1:57 am
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
In my opinion, that’s not really accurate. ETOPS rating is based on a nipumber of factors, including a different maintenance schedule, etc. The 777 was nominated and initially approved for ETOPS 180 “out of the box” as long as all ETOPS requirements are met, but the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) disagreed and the Boeing 777 was rated ETOPS 120 in Europe upon service entry. The model has proved itself, and Air New Zealand ultimately secured ETOPS 330 for their Rolls-Royce Trent 800 powered 777-200ER powered by engines AKL-EZE.
All that is correct, but the point is that four engines are safer than two. It was considered very risky to assume that only one engine will fail on a twin-engine aircraft. There have been incidents where both engines failed while flying. Even with the B777. Even with a highly reputable and experienced airline like BA using Rolls Royce Trent engines. Nevertheless, the FAA allowed ETOPS and eventually the rest of the world got in line. And so far there haven't been any disasters related to the newer ETOPS rules.

As you may know, ETOPS also stands for Engines Turn Or People Swim.
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Old Mar 16, 19, 9:18 am
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They need to make a simulator and train pilots on it.
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Old Mar 16, 19, 9:50 am
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Originally Posted by chrisfwm View Post
They need to make a simulator and train pilots on it.
Simulators aren't real life. Even when they simulate cars, they still do windtunnel testing (not just for cars, many things).
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Old Mar 16, 19, 11:06 am
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Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
Simulators aren't real life. Even when they simulate cars, they still do windtunnel testing (not just for cars, many things).
Its better than 1 hr ipad video that talked nothing abut MCAS, no?
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Old Mar 16, 19, 12:45 pm
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Originally Posted by chrisfwm View Post
Its better than 1 hr ipad video that talked nothing abut MCAS, no?
I cannot comment as to how much better but definitely it is not cheap doing a simulator.
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