Ethiopian 737 flight data shows ‘similarities’ to Lion Air crash

Aviation

Data retrieved from the recently crashed Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 shows “clear similarities” with the October 2018 crash of a Lion Air aircraft, according to Ethiopian transport minister Dagmawit Moges.

The similarities were noted after an initial review of information retrieved from the crashed Ethiopian aircraft’s flight data recorder, Moges said on 17 March, according to reports.

The recorder is “in a good condition that enabled us to extract almost all the data inside”, Moges adds.

The flight data recorders were shipped in recent days to France for review.

Aviation authorities worldwide grounded the Boeing 737 Max in the recent week following the Ethiopian crash, which came several months after the deadly crash of Lion Air flight 610, also operated by a Boeing 737 Max 8.

Investigators have said the Lion Air jetliner crashed after the pilots were unable to arrest a descent initiated by software new to the 737 Max, known as the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).

In response to the reports on Moges’ comments, Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg says in a statement that the company is “working with the authorities to evaluate new information as it becomes available”.

“While investigators continue to work to establish definitive conclusions, Boeing is finalising its development of a previously-announced software update and pilot training revision that will address the MCAS flight control law’s behaviour in response to erroneous sensor inputs,” adds Muilenburg.