The captain called out “pull up” three times to tell the first officer to raise the nose. Both pilots tried to pull the nose up together to keep the plane flying, but they were unable to regain control.
The report on the Ethiopian Airlines crash does not specifically name the Max 8’s plane’s anti-stall system — called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) — which is suspected to have contributed to the Lion Air disaster. But its findings make it likely that the MCAS system pushed the plane into a dive fueled by erroneous angle of attack sensor readings.
Boeing is currently working on a change to the system’s software. The company acknowledged the similarities between the two crashes in a statement Thursday. “The preliminary report contains flight data recorder information indicating the airplane had an erroneous angle of attack sensor input that activated the MCAS function during the flight, as it had during the Lion Air 610 flight,” the statement said.
Speaking before the release of the report, Ethiopian Minister of Transport Dagmawit Moges suggested that Boeing review “the aircraft flight control system related to the flight controllability.”She told reporters in Addis Ababa that said her agency would recommend that aviation authorities verify that Boeing has “adequately addressed” flight control issues “before release of the aircraft to operations.”The preliminary report, which has not yet been publicly released, does not come to a finding of probable cause. A final report could take as long as a year to produce.