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Ethiopian Investigators Blame Boeing For 737 MAX Plane Crash

Airplane engine parts are seen at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 11, 2019. /REUTERS

A draft interim report from Ethiopian crash investigators circulated to U.S. government agencies concludes the March 2019 crash of a Boeing Co.737 MAX was caused by the plane’s design, two people briefed on the matter said Friday.

Unlike most interim reports, this one includes a probable cause determination, conclusions and recommendations, which are typically not made until a final report is issued.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has been given a chance to lodge concerns or propose changes, the people said, declining to be identified because the report is not yet public.

NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss confirmed the agency had received the draft interim report, but declined to comment on whether the agency would suggest any changes. Boeing on Friday declined to comment to Reuters about the report.

According to Bloomberg News, which first reported the contents of the interim draft, the conclusions say little or nothing about the performance of Ethiopian Airlines or its flight crew and that has raised concern with some participants in the investigation.

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A Lion Air Boeing 737 lies submerged in the water after skidding off the runaway during landing at Bali’s international airport near Denpasar on April 13, 2013. An Indonesian plane carrying more than 100 passengers broke in two after missing the runway at Bali airport on April 13 and landing in the sea, leaving dozens injured but no fatalities. AFP PHOTO/Karna Surya Putra (Photo credit should read Karna Surya Putra/AFP/Getty Images)

The Ethiopian interim report contrasts with a final report into the Lion Air crash released last October by Indonesia which faulted Boeing’s design of cockpit software on the 737 MAX but also cited errors by the airline’s workers and crew.

Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed in an open field six minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, killing 157 passengers and crew.

The Boeing 737 MAX has been grounded worldwide for nearly a year after the two fatal crashes.

Under rules overseen by the United Nations’ Montreal-based aviation agency, ICAO, Ethiopia should publish a final report by the first anniversary of the crash on March 10 but now looks set to release an interim report with elements that would normally be included in the final report.

 

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Written by PH

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