Ethiopian Airlines says pilots got appropriate training

Ethiopian Airlines says pilots got appropriate training
Tewolde Gebremariam, Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, poses for a photograph after speaking to The Associated Press at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Saturday, March 23, 2019. The chief of Ethiopian Airlines says the warning and training requirements set for the now-grounded 737 Max aircraft may not have been enough following the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash that killed 157 people. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Ethiopian Airlines' CEO says the pilots who flew the plane that crashed on March 10 had trained on "all appropriate simulators," rejecting reports that they had not been adequately prepared to handle the new aircraft.

Tewolde Gebremariam said in a statement Monday that the airline owns simulators to help pilots train on the Boeing 737 Max, which has software installed that requires new training. The software can pitch the plane's nose down in some cases to keep it from stalling.

There is speculation that the software could have contributed to the crash, which killed 157 people, as well as to the crash of another Boeing 737 Max, a Lion Air flight, in October.

Regulators say both planes had similar erratic flight paths shortly after take-off, an important part of their decision to ground the roughly 370 Max planes around the world.

After the Lion Air crash off the coast of Indonesia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing issued new training material for pilots. Questions lingered, however, whether the required training was sufficient and whether airlines like Ethiopian had access to simulators to give pilots thorough experience handling the software.

Gebremariam said Ethiopian Airlines owns and operates a Boeing 737 Max simulator.

"Contrary to some media reports, our pilots who fly the new model were trained on all appropriate simulators," Gebremariam said. "The crews were well trained on this aircraft."

The CEO, however, had told The Associated Press this weekend that he thinks the warnings and extra training material from Boeing and U.S. regulators "might not have been enough."

He said in a subsequent interview, to the Wall Street Journal on Monday, that it appeared that the anti-stall software had been activated on the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed, though it was still too early to be sure.

Ethiopian Airlines is widely seen as Africa's best-managed airline. It had been using five of the Max planes and was awaiting delivery of 25 more.

Boeing is updating the plane's anti-stall software and has invited more than 200 pilots, technical experts and regulators to its factory in Renton, Washington, for a briefing.

The Federal Aviation Administration expects Boeing's update this week.

As part of the update, Boeing said it is tweaking the anti-stall software. After the update, the system will rely on data from more than one sensor before it automatically pushes the plane's nose lower. The system won't repeatedly push the nose down, and it will reduce the magnitude of the change.

Boeing said it will pay to train airline pilots.


Explore further

Ethiopian Airlines chief questions Max training requirements

© 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Citation: Ethiopian Airlines says pilots got appropriate training (2019, March 25) retrieved 22 April 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-ethiopian-airlines.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
6 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Mar 25, 2019
I don't doubt at all that the pilots were betrayed by a poorly implemented and badly documented anti-stall system, MCAS. That said, I still am amazed that the _previous_ flight of the Lion Air 737 also suffered MCAS induced control issues, but a third pilot, deadheading in the jump seat, knew what to do and saved the day. How could the following crew not be aware of the previous failure and solution? How could that not have been relayed and be fresh in their minds? By the time of the Ethiopian crash, even stupid civilians like me know where the two switches to disconnect MCAS from the trim system are. It somewhat boggles the mind that, sadly, they did not recognize what was happening and hit those switches. I would think that every 737 Max pilot on the planet would be aware of the problem and solution, even in the absence of any formal training and documentation updates.

Mar 25, 2019
Horrific that Boeing's base configuration only used a single angle of attack sensor. This single point of failure killed two airliners full of passengers. It was a pricey option to use both and have an 'disagreement' warning light in the cockpit. For even more, airlines can purchase an angle of attack readout. *sheesh*

Mar 25, 2019
well C_U, yah need to make up your minds.
"I don't doubt" yet you still shifted the blame onto the aircrew.
The aircraft that was saved by the third experienced pilot?
Did that pilot inform any of the other aircrews?
Or did he do a modest "Ah shucks, twas nothing" modesty crap?
Who, in the chain of command for the air controllers & airline executives were informed of the problems?
& when were they informed?
When did Boeing issue an emergency warning advisory of these issues?
Whuch executive at Boeing with pilot experience (are there any?) failed to override or at least throw a screaming fit that these vital system fixes were for sale separately when pushed by sales people (om commission) clueless to flying procedures?

In other words this decision to grasp another profit had to have come from a very senior executive.

Which means the janitors will take the blame. Cause no one has the balls to put the blame squarely where it belongs... at the top of the food chain.

Mar 26, 2019
Explain how the first officer, with only a few hundred hours, was trained appropriately. In most airlines around the world, you wouldn't even set foot in to the flight deck with less than 1500 hours total time.

Mar 26, 2019
ahh TK, thank you for a most excellent example of an Executive decision.

Any guesses how many janitors will be fired for that decision?

Cause in the Modern Capitalist Bureaucracy? The sign on the bosses desk reads
"The Buck Never Stops Here!
Taking the blame is what subordinates are for."

Mar 26, 2019
Dead men, tell no tales. It's so easy to blame it on pilot error. Which leaves the following question. Do the flight recorders distinguish between the software and pilot flying the aircraft?

Mar 26, 2019
If I understand the situation correctly?
The two planes that crashed & the near miss did not have the hardware/software upgrade.
It was an "unimportant" additional add-on for sale.

Mar 26, 2019
From what I understand from the latest reports, the pilots repeatedly jabbed one button ignoring the rest of the procedures. I hear they have this from the black box.

It is necessary to avoid panic. Looks like the pilot and copilot panicked. Either that or they thought they were smart enough to ignore the training. With predictable results, either way.

Now Boeing is engineering the controls for dumbshits. Which they probably should have done in the first place, but hindsight is 20-20.

Mar 26, 2019
Or, repeatedly pushing that specific button was the response the aircrews were trained to do?

& I would not specifically blame the Boeing engineers.
When was the last time you pointed bout an executives boneheaded error?
When paying your mortgage was on the line?

& keeping your mouth shut avoids getting tarnished with some of the blame?

& what is the credibility of whoever is claiming to be leaking early "findings" from an incomplete report?
& how does that serve the leaker's personal agenda?

Mar 27, 2019
From what I understand from the latest reports, the pilots repeatedly jabbed one button ignoring the rest of the procedures. I hear they have this from the black box.

It is necessary to avoid panic. Looks like the pilot and copilot panicked. Either that or they thought they were smart enough to ignore the training. With predictable results, either way.

Now Boeing is engineering the controls for dumbshits. Which they probably should have done in the first place, but hindsight is 20-20.

Da Schitts, the "meat" loving, knob gobbler, brays.

https://arstechni...isaster/

Mar 27, 2019
Execs don't usually have the technical chops to attend engineering meetings, and when they do they generally limit themselves to handling the politics among the engineers.

Mar 27, 2019
Execs don't usually have the technical chops to attend engineering meetings, and when they do they generally limit themselves to handling the politics among the engineers.

Da Schitts, the "meat" loving, knob gobbler, brays.
Why are you still soiling this thread, you bigoted jackass.

Mar 27, 2019
Yet, still, they did not complete the procedures correctly, and this can be corrected by changes in the training and changes in the software. Obviously this stall recovery is a dangerous thing, and requires more careful handling.

Mar 27, 2019
Okay DS, I can tentatively accept your last two comments.

However, is it not the excuse for those fat paychecks?
That executives are managing the situations confronted every day in business?

I'm waiting to see evidence for managing, coordinating, compel compliance, administrating.

Not just from the Boeing Executives but the airline executives. safety officers, maintenance supervisors & national authorities of the involved countries.

I'll betcha dollars to donuts, one of those desk jockeys had the Warning Notice sitting in his in-basket when he went to lunch & a a "few" rounds of golf.

Mar 29, 2019
well C_U, yah need to make up your minds.
"I don't doubt" yet you still shifted the blame onto the aircrew.
Not trying to shift blame. I'm wondering why they seemed to be unaware of the problem. The plane should have gotten a through going over by maintenance to fix the bad sensor. How much info is in the logs or maintenance reports? Did they include the behavior of the aircraft? Was the procedure that saved the plane noted?? I'm curious.

The aircraft that was saved by the third experienced pilot?
Did that pilot inform any of the other aircrews?
Or did he do a modest "Ah shucks, twas nothing" modesty crap?
It should have gotten into some sort of official report. I wonder if the next aircrew (should have) had access to it? Was it likely this sort of stuff is shared between pilots at an airline via a grapevine?

Mar 29, 2019
It does somewhat surprise me that, even in Ethiopia, the 737 Max pilots seemed unaware of the problem. What's the information flow, officially and unofficially. Again, the info was out there for non-pilots like me before the 2nd crash, reported on national news here in the US. Don't professional pilots follow industry news, no matter what country they are from?

Mar 29, 2019
& the latest, latest news as of this ,morning March 29. 2019.

That the installed anti-stall device kept failing as the aircrew followed the procedure of "pounding" on it to get it working/

So, like I said DS, who leaked unverified information from an unpublished report & what is their agenda?

I know you all hate it when I bring up political opinions.

But gosh!
This is the depths of irony the resemblance of this accident report U the NON-release of the Meuller Report.

Whoever provided the earlier claim of pilot-error? Was most likely trying to bolster the market price of Boeing Stock as he desperately was unloading his shares.

I will not be surprised if the false leaker turns out to be a Republican bigwig.

Putin's been giving them pointers on how to get away with this fake news crap/

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more