The preliminary report into the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max crash is released by the Ethiopian government on Thursday.
According to the 33-page report, The pilots on board Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 battled the plane’s automated flight control systems for almost the entire duration of the six-minute flight
The crashed Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max hit the ground at 575 mph and left a crater 32 feet deep.
The plane’s airspeed indicator reached 500 knots (roughly 575 mph) just before the plane crashed.
Its impact in a field near Addis Ababa created a hole about 32 feet deep, 92 feet wide, and 131 feet long, according to the report, which is subject to change as the investigation continues.
The plane’s speed exceeded its design limits, Reuters reported, adding that it was traveling so fast that it would have created negative G-forces inside the cabin.
Such extreme forces would have pulled passengers out of their seats and could have made them feel weightless before impact
The Ethiopian Airlines pilots followed Boeing’s emergency procedures but couldn’t control the plane and stop its nose from pointing down, the report said.
The report also said that the plane was considered airworthy before takeoff and that the pilots were fully certified to fly the plane.
The problems on board the Ethiopian Airlines jet mirror those encountered on the doomed Lion Air Flight 610 — which operated the same 737 Max 8 model and crashed in October — in what could be a significant blow to Boeing as it struggles to get the aircraft back in service.
Boeing acknowledged on Thursday that an erroneous angle-of-attack sensor triggered the plane’s anti-stall software system, known as MCAS. It’s designed to prevent stalls by automatically pointing the nose down if it detects the aircraft is climbing too sharply.
Boeing CEO ‘sorry’ for lives lost in 737 MAX accidents
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Thursday afternoon said the company was “sorry for the lives lost” in the 737 Max crashes.
“These tragedies continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and minds, and we extend our sympathies to the loved ones of the passengers and crew on board Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302,” he said in a statement.
The 737 Max was grounded around the world after the Ethiopian Airlines crash last month.