By Scott Hamilton
Dec. 27, 2022, © Leeham News: The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) today issued a critique of the newly released final investigation report of the Ethiopian government of the March 10, 2019, crash of a Boeing 737 MAX.
Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 came five months after Lion Air flight JT610, a MAX, crashed. Both accidents began when the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) activated following a failure of the single Angle of Attack (AOA) sensor to which it was tied malfunctioned (JT610) or failed (ET302).
Boeing issued a notice to MAX operators after the Lion Air crash outlining proper procedures pilots should follow in case MCAS erroneously activated again. The Ethiopian government investigation placed the blame for the crash on Boeing. The NTSB’s critique concluded the pilots failed to follow Boeing recommendations and should be partly held responsible for the probable cause of the crash. Had they followed procedure, the NTSB concludes the pilots could have successfully flown through the emergency.
The NTSB’s critique noted that the final report failed to include its comments and misstated other documents and findings in assessing the blame to Boeing. The NTSB also concluded Boeing was partly culpable.
The NTSB’s nine-page critique is here. The press release is here. Releasing an independent set of findings is unusual and was prompted by the exclusion of its comments and what the NTSB characterized as misstating critical information that should have been part of the report for the safety of operators worldwide.