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Ethiopian Airlines pushes back on criticism of its pilots, states the Boeing 737 MAX has a problem

Ethiopian Airlines is pushing back strongly against criticism that its pilots were to blame for the tragic MAX accident. ( More...

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Frank Harvey 4
This Ethiopian Airlines statement contains an interesting sentence : "As per the preliminary report, there is no evidence of any foreign object damage (bird strike or any other object) on the angle of attack sensor". Ethiopian seems to be claiming there is no evidence the AOA sensor was damaged but a damaged sensor seems to have invoked MCAS nose down moves.

On the flight immediately preceding the Lion Air crash the aircraft experienced MCAS activated nose down incidents. The AOA sensor was replaced overnight. The same a/c, with a "new" replacement sensor appears to have experienced the same MCAS initiated nose down moves.

Three different sensors, one "new", all initiated MCAS anti-stall activity.

Highflyer1950 3
I seem to recall someone mentioning that the AOA sensor input/output would swap from left to right, right to left at each power up? Is it possible Lion Air replaced the good sensor? Without the optional instrumentation and disagreement light, how would the crew know which sensor was acting up?
Frank Harvey 1
I saw the alternating AOA sources mentioned somewhere but almost every other mention I have seen of MCAS input says it reads from the left AOA only. To alternate on power ups would seem to be illogically complex to me. One implication if that were the case would be that the Lion Air had two bad AOA sensors, the captain's (left) and presumably the right side one which it would have been reading from on the subsequent flight which crashed. However if the alternating AOA inputs were the case the Boeing MX documentation should have said in the event of repeated uncommanded nose down movements replace both AOA sensors. Which raises another question, how was MCAS error diagnosis and correction documented in Max's MX manuals ?
siriusloon 1
Was it damaged by impact or defective in some other way? They are known to fail, which is why most airliners have two.
Jim Myers 4
The mere concept that the pilots are to blame is idiocy. The entire WORLD FLEET of 737 Max aircraft would not sill be grounded if the problem was the pilots rather than the aircraft.
cbuckley 1
no, it's a precaution, pro-active preemtive intervention. If these B737-max aircraft are defective then why are Southwest, United, Air canada, et al also not crashing? It's only aircraft operated by perhaps less than capable personnel with suspect airline maintenance. That needs to be investigated as well.
You can't blame pilots when an aircraft's built-in mechanisms seem determined to disobey pilot commands and head straight for the ground. It appears that Boeing sold an aircraft that had not undergone extensive flight tests.
chalet 1
Boeing is in a such an awful mess that it never knew how to handle it. Who could have imagined that one of the premier airframe makers of the world would commit an imperdonable sin to try to make the Max 8 a safe plane to fly -after realizing that it has an inherently dangerous quirky aerodynamic deffect- by installing the infamous MCAS Blackbox which made things even more dangerous. Boeing will continue trying to scream to the 4 corners of the world that the two accidents were due to pilots error but nobody believe them any more.


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