Family of Rwandan killed in Ethiopian Airlines sues Boeing

April FrancisMar 30, 2019

Media reported earlier this week that the US Department of Transportation was setting up a committee to conduct an independent review of the Federal Aviation Authority's certification of the Boeing 737 Max.

"[Boeing officials] have to discuss the matter internally", said Garuda Indonesia president director Ari Askhara in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Friday, as reported by Antara.

If confirmed, the preliminary findings cited in the Wall Street Journal would suggest that the automated flight software called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), which was installed in both planes could be to blame in the two incidents. Boeing said it could not comment on the lawsuit.

The flight track of the doomed Ethiopia Airlines flight, which also crashed minutes after takeoff, "was very similar to Lion Air (indicating) there was very possibly a link between the two flights", FAA acting chief Daniel Elwell told Congress this week. "We are evaluating whether we will shift to Airbus or keep Boeing", he added.

Boeing 737 MAX jets have been grounded globally after the March 10 crash in Ethiopia.

A preliminary report into the latest crash could be released by Ethiopian authorities within days.

The planemaker said the anti-stall system, which is believed to have repeatedly forced the nose lower in at least one of the accidents, in Indonesia last October, would only do so once per event after sensing a problem, giving pilots more control.

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While investigators found that sensors had given wrong information about the angle of the plane before the Lion Air crash, neither the Indonesian or Ethiopian planes displayed warnings - - a safety feature sold as an optional extra. "We mourn this loss of life, and we are going to do everything that we can do to ensure that accidents like these never happen again." .

In another development, Reuters reported Friday that U.S. and European regulators knew at least two years before the Indonesian disaster that the usual method for controlling the MAX's nose angle might not work in conditions similar to those in the two recent crashes.

There's no explanation of the MCAS - nor the steps needed to counter it - in the Max's USA and European pilot manuals.

Sinnett said making the software updates to each plane will take about an hour and will begin immediately.

Boeing has suggested using two existing cut-out switches could have prevented the Lion Air disaster, but it has also announced proposals to beef up the system and improve training.

The Ethiopian investigation has focused on the anti-stall system, which in the case of the Lion Air crash exerted more and more force until the crew lost control.

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