#EthiopianAirlines crash report likely to be released this week as Boeing briefs airlines

Published Mar 26, 2019



report on an Ethiopian Airlines crash will very likely

be released this week, the country's transport ministry said on

Tuesday, as Boeing prepares to brief more airlines on

software and training updates on the 737 MAX.

The aviation industry and grieving families of victims of

the March 10 crash anxiously await details from the Ethiopia-led

investigation. Boeing has come under intense scrutiny since the

crash, the second in five months involving its new 737 MAX 8


The MAX software is the focus of investigations into the two

crashes -- in Ethiopia this month and in Indonesia last year --

in which 346 lives were lost.

This week Boeing is briefing airlines on software and

training updates for the MAX, with more than 200 global airline

pilots, technical experts and regulators due in Renton,

Washington, where the plane is built.

Any fixes to the MAX software must still get approval from

governments around the world. The 737 MAX is Boeing's

best-selling plane, with orders worth more than $500 billion at

list prices. Within less than a week after the Ethiopian crash,

the jets were grounded globally.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for Ethiopia's Transport Ministry,

which is leading the investigation in Addis Ababa, told Reuters

that the report will very likely be released this week though he

cautioned that "there could be unpredictable things" and

declined to give further details.

The statement came a day after Ethiopian Airlines Chief

Executive Officer Tewolde Gebremariam said he expected the

preliminary report to be released this week or next week.

Tewolde told Reuters the leading African airline may or may not

attend Boeing's briefing in the United States this week.

Boeing's software fix for the grounded 737 MAX will prevent

repeated operation of an anti-stall system at the centre of

safety concerns, and deactivate it altogether if two sensors

disagree widely, two people familiar with pilot briefings told

Reuters on Monday.

Upgrading an individual 737 MAX with Boeing's new software

only takes about an hour per plane, though the overall process

could stretch on far longer as it is rolled out across the

global fleet due to stringent testing and documentation

requirements by engineers and regulators, according to a senior

FAA official with knowledge of the process.

Ethiopian and French investigators have pointed to "clear

similarities" between the two crashes, putting pressure on

Boeing and U.S. regulators to come up with an adequate fix.

(Reporting by Kumerra Gemechu and Eric M. Johnson in Seattle

Writing by Maggie Fick

Editing by Louise Heavens)

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