Breaking news in the Boeing investigation; reports this morning that the black box data from that Ethiopian Airlines crash reveals a safety system was incorrectly activated, the same thing that happened on that failed Lion Air flight.
A malfunctioning anti-stall system could be responsible for the deaths of 346 people.
It’s believed that investigators have confirmed the same malfunction that brought down the Lion Air flight last year could also be responsible for that devastating Ethiopian Airlines crash.
Sources now tell ABC News that preliminary information from the black boxes indicates the Boeing 737 Max’s ‘Flight control feature automatically activated before the plane nose-dived into the ground’.
Just days ago, pilots tested the system in a simulator. Some saying they were shocked at how aggressive the anti-stall directed the jet nose-down.
Steve Ganyard tells us, “The force of the stick may have surprised the pilots; been stronger than they had anticipated, and this may have confused them and led them to making false moves in the cockpit.”
And, we know that in the Lion Air crash, pilots fought this automated system shortly after take-off for 12 minutes before losing the battle. But, we don’t know what prevented those pilots from turning the system off, nor what happened inside the cockpit of the Ethiopian flight.
Former NTSB Investigator Tom Haueter tells us, “You need a system that provides additional protections, provides additional information so that these two accidents don’t happen again.”
Earlier this week, Boeing revealed a potential solution; a new software update that would make it harder for that system to initiate and easier for pilots to recover and pull back the control column.
Lawmakers say they also plan to take action.
Daniel Elwell, Acting Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, tells us, “We’re responsible for aviation safety in the United States but we are. It’s a globe, there are no boundaries, there’s no borders, it’s a global endeavor.”
That software update is still awaiting FAA approval. And, as the company waits, coming as hundreds of 737 Max’s throughout the world are grounded, costing millions of dollars each day.