FILE - In this March 11, 2019, file photo, wreckage is piled at the crash scene of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 near Bishoftu, Ethiopia. The year since the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max has been a journey through grief, anger and determination for the families of those who died, as well as having far-reaching consequences for the aeronautics industry as it brought about the grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 jets, which remain out of service. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene, File)

Report: Software pushed jet's nose down 4 times before crash

March 09, 2020 - 9:39 am

Software designed to stop an aerodynamic stall activated four times as Ethiopian Airlines pilots struggled to control their Boeing 737 Max 8 shortly before the jet slammed into the ground on March 10, 2019.

That's one of many findings in an interim report on the crash released Monday by Ethiopia's Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau. The report came out just a day before the one-year anniversary of the crash, which killed all 157 people on board.

The report makes safety recommendations and gives clues to the cause, but an analysis won't be done until the final report, which is expected later this year.

The software called MCAS pushes the nose of the plane down. That touched off the pilots' desperate struggle to regain control of the plane.

The report also blames a faulty sensor reading that led to the cascading events that brought the plane down. And it says that pilots should have received simulator training on what to do if the flight-control system malfunctions.

One of Boeing's biggest selling points for the Max was that it was essentially the same as older 737s and therefore no simulator training was needed to switch to the new aircraft.

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