U.S. accident investigators and Ethiopian officials dispute why a sensor breakdown occurred before a Boeing 737 Max crashed in March 2019, just after takeoff from Addis Ababa.
On Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board confirmed the bad sensor reading to result from interaction with an object, most likely a bird.
According to Ethiopia’s aviation authorities, electrical problems that have existed since the plane’s creation are what are causing the sensor, which measures the plane’s nose direction, to give incorrect signals.
In a report dated Jan. 13 and made public on Tuesday, the NTSB stated that there are no specifics in Ethiopia’s final report on the incident to justify the conclusion that there was an electrical issue.
The U.S. board partially relied on Collins Aerospace’s fault analysis, which produced the sensor.
Both parties concur that the sensor readings triggered Max’s innovative automated flight-control system to pitch the plane’s nose downward.
The pilots failed to recover control.
All 157 people on board were killed in the tragedy, which happened less than five months after a Max crash in Indonesia claimed 189 lives.
The NTSB published its new comments three weeks after its original critique of Ethiopia’s findings regarding the cause of the tragedy, which resulted in the worldwide suspension of all Max planes for almost two years.
Boeing will be charged with cheating the US on Thursday in a federal court in Texas.
After Boeing enters a plea to the fraud allegation, more than a dozen relatives of crash victims have petitioned the court for time to speak.
The families are pressuring the Justice Department to reconsider a 2021 deal in which Boeing agreed to pay $2.5 billion to avoid being charged with a crime for how it secured regulatory approval for the plane. Justice Department and Boeing both oppose reopening the settlement.
Boeing has not made the name of the “suitable person” appointed by the judge’s public knowledge.