A piece found in the place where the plane of the Ethiopian airline crashed points against the system of stabilization of the model, considered also responsible for the tragedy in Indonesia.
Researchers are working on Bishoftu, Ethiopia, where the March 10 flight 302 Ethiopian Airlines crashed, gave new evidence that the causes of the accident, in which 157 people died, could be the same that caused the Lion Air accident in October 2018, which ended with a death toll of 189.
It is a piece that, by the state in which it is found, would indicate that the stabilizers of the Boeing 737 Max 8 were tilted upwards, according to The New York Times. In that position, they would have taken the nose of the plane down, exactly the same as happened in the case of Lion Air.
It is true that the investigation into the causes of the event is still in an initial phase. But this clue was the one that led US air regulators to keep all the Boeing Max 737s on the ground.
It is not by chance that, although there are still no conclusions about what happened, Boeing has announced that it will modify the MCAS system, aimed at preventing the destabilization of the plane and designated as the one responsible for the accident of the 737 MAX 8 of Lion Air.
In fact, the modification is nearing completion. It would only take two hours per ship to enter it.
The analysis of the black boxes of the Ethiopian Airlines plane began on Friday in France, where Ethiopia commissioned the investigation to try to discover the causes of the incident.
Boeing held a conference call on Thursday with three airlines that bought some units of the 737 MAX and presented the solution, said a source consulted by AFP. The company should inform other customers early next week, he said.
The Ethiopian delegation led by the head of the country’s Accident Investigation Office arrived at the French Office of Research and Analysis (BEA) to begin the investigation.
For now, nothing has been leaked about the content of the black boxes, which were damaged after the incident. One of them, the FDR, contains the flight parameters, and the other, the CVR, the conversations and alarms of the cabin. The BEA has arranged ten technicians from the center. The work on the CVR could be extended until Saturday, the BEA wrote on Twitter.
Ethiopia asked France to take over the analysis since it does not have a laboratory to analyze these black boxes. Manufactured by American L3 Technologies, the black boxes contain new technology.
The BEA released photos of the FDR box in which it was noticeably damaged, although these devices are known to withstand strong impacts. This “does not augur well for the integrity of the data it contains,” explained a former BEA official.
If the data contained in the boxes are affected, the French agency could ask its manufacturer to rebuild them in whole or in part. The US body responsible for transport safety (NTSB) sent three researchers to France to participate in the investigation, a common practice since the aircraft is from the American manufacturer Boeing.
Boeing on Thursday announced the suspension of deliveries of the 737 MAX aircraft “until a solution is found,” but ruled out stopping production of the aircraft, the company’s best-selling model.
The US Aviation Agency (FAA) ordered the suspension of all flights of the 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft until further notice. Washington justified this measure after having “new data” satellite delivered by Canada, which shows similarities between the two accidents of this model.
The measure came after a growing number of airlines and countries decided to leave these models on the ground or ban them in their airspace until it is ensured that they do not represent a security problem.
As revealed by The New York Times on Thursday, the pilot of the Boeing 737 MAX of Ethiopian Airlines found himself in an emergency situation immediately after takeoff. He asked with a voice of “panic” to return when the plane began to accelerate at an abnormal speed.
“Break, break, I ask for a return home,” the commander told air traffic controllers, according to a person who had access to the exchange between the crew and the controllers. The term “break, break” is used to prioritize a message, which means that the crew is faced with an emergency situation that pilots can not handle. “Ask for guidance to land,” added the commander.