The crash of Ethiopian airline plane Boeing 737 MAX 8 on Sunday 10 March in which 157 people died has been blamed on a software taking control of the plane that the pilots could not override. All planes of this model have now been grounded.
The software is known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), that overrides some specified pilot control inputs unless it is switched off.
This can interfere with pilots’ longtime training that pulling back on the control yoke raises a plane’s nose, putting the plane into a climb. As a pilot tries to manoeuvre an airplane, the automated system may be counteracting that pilot’s inputs.
Boeing have now issued a bulletin disclosing that this line of planes, known as the 737 Max 8, was equipped with a new type of software as part of the plane’s automated functions.
This came just months after the crash of another brand-new 737 MAX 8 in Indonesia in October 2018, where all 189 people on board lost their lives.
Members of AMUST team visited the Ethiopian Embassy in Canberra on Tuesday 12 March to meet Her Excellency the Ambassador of Ethiopia Tirfu Kidanemariam Gebrehiwet and express their condolences.