Boeing CEO admits MCAS risk must be fixed after preliminary crash report clears Ethiopian Airlines' pilots of error
Airplane manufacturer Boeing continues to reel after the fatal Ethiopian Airlines accident on 10 March 2019, which crashed shortly after take-off, leaving 189 people dead.
The circumstances surrounding the Ethiopian Airlines crash have harrowing similarity to that of the Lion Air crash, which took place in November 2018, crashing into the Java Sea and killing 189 people on board.
Boeing CEO, Dennis Muilenburg has issued a heartfelt statement after the release of the preliminary report on the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. It shows the pilots were not at fault, had tried to implement the training given to them by Boeing to deal with this sort of emergency and details a series of events that unfolded, involving erroneous Angle of Attack readings in the aircraft autopilot systems.
Muilenburg says the "tragedies" of the recent Ethiopian and Lion Air crashes continue to "weigh heavily on the hearts and minds of all" working at Boeing.
"The full details of what happened in the two accidents will be issued by the government authorities in the final reports, but, with the release of the preliminary report of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident investigation, it's apparent that in both flights the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, known as MCAS, activated in response to erroneous angle of attack information.
"The history of our industry shows most accidents are caused by a chain of events. This again is the case here, and we know we can break one of those chain links in these two accidents."
The safety concerns around MCAS system is also being investigated in the Lion Air crash with aviation authorities choosing to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft type globally. Comair, South African operator of British Airways and kulula, also had a Max 8 in operation and self-regulated by grounding its plane.
Muilenburg believes the company has developed a software update that would "ensure accidents like that of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 never happen again" but whether the company will be able to regain passenger and industry confidence in the plane model remains to be seen. Watch his full speech in the video above.