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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 10, 19, 7:28 pm
  #121  
 
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some airlines are already standing down on the plane, mostly because the passengers are getting nervous about the lack of understanding and/or the adequacy of corrective action.

The authorities have more information available to them and they have not issued any sort of grounding at this time.

I only begin to worry from my seat on the plane, when the pilots themselves lose faith in the airplane. So when they refuse to fly the route than that is bad.

Meanwhile trust in your pilots of this type in whether they feel it is safe in the interim as all the investigation details are developed.
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Old Mar 10, 19, 7:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Lomapaseo View Post
some airlines are already standing down on the plane, mostly because the passengers are getting nervous about the lack of understanding and/or the adequacy of corrective action.
You mean China?
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Old Mar 10, 19, 7:37 pm
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Unfortunately I have a AC flight tomorrow from HNL-YVR on a 737-8 MAX and despite not being a nervous passenger, right now I'm really not very comfortable about the idea of AC keeping operating the 737-8 MAX until we know a little more about the second incident.

Shouldn't airlines be a little more proactive and ground these plane models until there is enough info to know what was responsible for the accident?
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Old Mar 10, 19, 7:41 pm
  #124  
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I would expect most full service legacy carriers to be pretty lenient about letting people change away from the MAX right now but YMMV.

Regardless of aircraft type, I wouldn't be comfortable on some airlines, including Lion. OTOH, if you must travel to parts of Africa, ET is likely to (still) be one of the best alternatives.
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Old Mar 10, 19, 7:46 pm
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Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
You mean China?
As per this BBC story https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-47519467 at least Cayman Airways has grounded this type.
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Old Mar 10, 19, 8:02 pm
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Originally Posted by aubreyfromwheaton View Post
I would cancel and rebook, the problem is when these airlines swap out planes and then you get stuck with that death trap... I would still cancel until more is known 2/350 and rising is **** odds
SWA doesn't have any ETOPs MAX8s certified yet, so they're just sending -800s for at least a while.
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Old Mar 10, 19, 8:05 pm
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Originally Posted by respectable_man View Post


As per this BBC story https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-47519467 at least Cayman Airways has grounded this type.
Not, China is grounding them
https://life.caijing.com.cn/20190311/4568915.shtml
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Old Mar 10, 19, 8:11 pm
  #128  
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I have previously avoided the 738MAX because it is simply a miserable passenger experience. The current uncertainty as to whether this plane and it systems are inherently flawed just seals the "avoid at all costs" deal for me.
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Old Mar 10, 19, 8:13 pm
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Even money that China grounding a Boeing product in the current climate has as much to do with politics as safety.
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Old Mar 10, 19, 8:14 pm
  #130  
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Originally Posted by SWCPHX View Post
Even money that China grounding a Boeing product in the current climate has as much to do with politics as safety.
BS. The plane is flawed and should be grounded until the problem is resolved.
Even money that the FAA hasn't grounded it yet due to politics.
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Old Mar 10, 19, 8:39 pm
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If political BS is what it takes to get this investigated properly, then so be it.
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Old Mar 10, 19, 8:45 pm
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All 737 MAX 8 in China will be grounded by 1800 local time on 3/11 (GMT+8).

Official link to CAAC

"CAAC will contact FAA and Boeing, and communicate to airlines to resume operations of 737 MAX 8 aircrafts once measures to effectively ensure flight safety have been implemented."
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Old Mar 10, 19, 8:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Lux Flyer View Post
And if we look at the loss of Challenger(and later Colombia) shuttles? The space program suspended operation, after a single incident, until they could properly investigate, determine a cause, and implement a fix. Granted these incidents as you mention are a much larger percentage of their fleet, but still it only took one event for them to put the program on hold while they investigated further.

I'll admit going the NASA route and grounding an entire model every time a single crash occurs isn't realistic for commercial air travel, you'll wipe out giant portions of airlines fleets for months at a time while an investigation occurs. However it is also concerning that two of the same model aircraft have crashed, in the same stage of flight, and based on initial reports suggest similar circumstances should raise enough eye brows. Can it be random chance? Sure, but how many other models of airplanes have we had have two crashes in a short period of time? While being a relatively new model? In a day-and-age where historically air travel has been the safest ever, shouldn't that raise even more concern that these crashes are occurring? Or has the past 20 years just been an anomaly, after all we are dealing with an overall small event rate across the millions of flights that have taken place? Perhaps the expected crash rate is actually higher than what we have been seeing over the past couple decades?

Point being, we can make any number of statements regarding probability. At what point, with the rare occurrence of airplane crashes, do we say that is enough to raise concern for a specific model? NASA's approach is one event is too many. That is obviously unrealistic for commercial airlines. One event is a data point, two events is a line, three is a trend. When you're dealing with human lives, do you want to get to a trend? That answer is going to be different to everyone, I know the medical field doesn't like negative trends; and the medical field is supposed to be learning from the airline industry.
not meaning to belittle the lives lost in any accident but there is a big difference between NASA disasters and a plane, train, our automobile crash. All get investigated though at very different levels.
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Old Mar 10, 19, 9:10 pm
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Originally Posted by SWCPHX View Post
I'd be a little more concerned if these incidents had involved European or North American carriers.
While I would be concerned about two recent losses on a brand new plane in similar situations (shortly after takeoff) regardless of operating carrier, this sentiment is spot on.

​​​​If both of these catastrophic events happened in North America and/or Europe, the response would be very different.

Not a good time for Boeing with the loss of the 767 freighter in Texas last month on top of this.
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Old Mar 10, 19, 9:15 pm
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The trouble appeared to begin almost immediately after takeoff. The pilots told air traffic controllers that they were having technical problems. And the plane seemed to repeatedly climb and dive before a final plunge.
from this NYTimes article : although warning no conclusion can be reached yet, the article is not good omens for the specific type.

Last edited by respectable_man; Mar 10, 19 at 9:22 pm
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