US agency reveals cause of Max plane crash after takeoff from Ethiopia
The American agency revealed the cause of the crash of the Boeing 737 Max in March 2019, shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa.
US investigators disagreed with Ethiopian authorities as to the cause of the sensor failure that preceded the crash.
The US National Transportation Safety Board concluded on Tuesday that the sensor’s poor readings were caused by a collision with an object, most likely a bird.
Earlier, the Ethiopian Aviation Authority said that the erroneous readings of a sensor measuring the direction of the aircraft’s nose were due to electrical problems that had existed since the aircraft was manufactured.
Both American and Ethiopian sides agree that it was the readings from the sensors that caused the new automatic flight control system on the Max model to point the plane’s nose down and the pilots were unable to regain control of it.
The crash, which killed all 157 people on board, comes less than 5 months after 189 people died in the crash of the Max plane, also in Indonesia.
The NTSB released its new comments 3 weeks after initially criticizing Ethiopia’s findings on the cause of the crash, which led to the suspension of all Max flights worldwide for almost two years.
Boeing will appear in federal court in Texas on Thursday on US fraud charges. Relatives of some of the crash victims are expected to speak.
The families of the victims are pushing for the Justice Department to reopen a settlement in which Boeing agreed to pay $2.5 billion in exchange for not facing criminal prosecution for how it got regulatory approval for the aircraft.