Ethiopian Officials say 737 Max 8 Pilots Followed Boeing Procedures Before Crash

Airline officials said MCAS training didn't appear to help prevent the crash of as 737 Max 8 last month.

Boeing 737 Max
A preliminary report in the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 determined the pilots followed Boeing procedures.Courtesy Boeing

Ethiopia Airlines provided details of a preliminary report that the airline says determined that the pilots of a doomed Boeing 737 Max 8 that crashed last month, killing all 157 people on board, followed Boeing procedures outlined after a similar crash in Indonesia five months earlier, but even the new training did not allow the pilots to regain control of the jetliner.

The Boeing 737 Max 8 experienced several pitch-down events that crash investigators think are related to Boeing's maneuvering characteristics augmentation system, or MCAS, according to Ethiopian officials. Boeing issued revised training guidance after the crash of a Lion Air 737 Max 8 in Indonesia that informed crews of how to stop the MCAS inputs. Despite apparently following those new procedures, the pitch-down events continued until the Ethiopian Airlines 737 crashed.

"Despite their hard work and full compliance with the emergency procedures, it was very unfortunate that the crew could not recover the airplane from the persistence of nose diving. As the investigation continues with more detailed analysis, as usual we will continue with our full cooperation with the investigation team," an airline statement said.

Boeing said it is reviewing the findings of the preliminary report. The FAA, meanwhile, has reportedly begun an in-depth certification review of the 737 Max family that could take many weeks or even months to complete.