Ethiopian investigators drafted an interim report on the Boeing Co 737 MAX and circulated to US government agencies following the plane crash in March 2019. According to media reports, the investigators have concluded that the plane’s design caused the fatal crash killing everyone on board.
Eric Weiss, a spokesperson of the US National Transportation Safety Board, has reportedly confirmed the receipt of the draft report. The US agency has been given chance to either lodge concerns regarding the report or to propose changes to Boeing.
Boeing has been under fire after two MAX 8 aircraft crashed claiming 346 lives and was grounded all over the world due to safety concerns. In September, Federal safety investigators said that Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration misjudged how pilots would respond to a flurry of alarms and alerts in case of encountering trouble while flying 737 MAX.
The NTSB made several recommendations including plane design, pilot training based on pilot response. NTSB, in its report, had said that clearer ‘failure indications’ should be provided to facilitate improved response. The NTSB recommended to develop and incorporate the use of “robust tools and methods” for validating assumptions about a pilot’s response to aeroplane failures as part of design certification.
“We saw in these two accidents that the crews did not react in the ways Boeing and the FAA assumed they would,” said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt.
Sumwalt said that a gap was found between the assumptions used to certify MAX and the real-world experiences of crews. He also clarified that the report only addressed the issue and has not analyzed the actions of pilots involved in those crash.
Recently, Boeing Co submitted employees internal communications to the US Congress and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which revealed the culture of “arrogance” and focus on cost-cutting. One of the employees said that he/she won’t put his/her family on a MAX simulator trained aircraft, in an instant messaging exchanged months before two fatal crashes. Another employee asserted that the company will not allow simulator training a requirement if any regulator asks for it.
(With agency inputs)