Ethiopian Air Pilot Asked For More Training on Boeing 737 Max Well Before Fatal Crash

New evidence is emerging that the pilot had fears about the plane's safety systems.
Jessica Miley

An Ethiopian Air asked for more training on the Boeing 737 MAX well before the fatal crash that killed 157 people in March.

According to Bloomberg News, the pilot requested that there to be more training on the flight-control feature of the plane so that crew could be better prepared in case they faced a similar scenario to what the Lion Air Pilots encountered in October before plunging into the Java Sea, killing all aboard.


According to emails and reports seen by the news outlet, pilot Bernd Kai von Hoesslin wrote: “It will be a crash for sure,” if a pilot receives a cockpit warning that they were flying too close to the ground while struggling with the flight-control system on the 737 Max.

Pilots were right

While Ethiopian Crash didn't occur exactly as the foreboding email warned it does show the anxiety the professional had around Boeing technology and their understanding of it. This latest news is another indicator that Boeing must take a lot of the responsibility for the crashes.

Investigations in the Ethiopian crash are continuing, but initial analysis suggests that a faulty reading from a sensor on the nose of the plane was the cause of the devastating crash.

Rumors have been circulating since the crash about poor manufacturing practices inside Boeing's factory that may have also caused an issue with the quality of components being installed on the planes.

Boeing employees were worried

A damming investigative report published last month by Drew Griffin at CNN reveals that one day after the Ethiopian minister of transportation released a preliminary report on the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, four current and former Boeing employees called the US Federal Aviation Authority’s anonymous safety hotline to report additional problems with the aircraft.

The FAA confirmed that it did receive reports on their tip line and that the calls may lead to the opening of another investigation into Boeing’s embattled 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The plane in question is still grounded worldwide.

One whistleblower reported to the FAA that they had seen damage to the electrical wiring connected to the plane’s angle of attack sensor from a foreign object, which feeds data to the MCAS system so it can determine whether it needs to engage to prevent the plane from stalling.

Reports flow in

Other evidence is being compiled that show failure after failure by Boeing to fix the problems associated with the MCAS system. A report from last March published in the Seattle Times, show that the Boeing safety inspectors did not fully understand or misrepresented the strength of its new MCAS system when preparing the safety review for the plane before certification.

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft has two angles of attack sensors on the plane connected to the MCAS system, but the system was designed to take the readings from just one of the sensors.

It now seems that if the system been designed to read from both sensors and compare them, wildly different readings from each sensor would have triggered another response or re-reading of data rather than the ending of the MCAS from engaging.

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