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Thread: Breaking news: Ethiopian Airlines flight has crashed on way to Nairobi

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    Member ErezS's Avatar
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    Default Breaking news: Ethiopian Airlines flight has crashed on way to Nairobi


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    R.I.P all on board. I know I might be jumping the gun here, as this is another 737-MAX accident could this be the same problem as the Lion Air crash with the MCAS being involved.

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    Member ErezS's Avatar
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    On The Aviation Herald:

    Crash: Ethiopian B38M near Bishoftu on Mar 10th 2019, impacted terrain after departure

    (By Simon Hradecky, created Sunday, Mar 10th 2019 09:29Z, last updated Sunday, Mar 10th 2019 11:38Z)

    An Ethiopian Boeing 737-8 MAX, registration ET-AVJ performing flight ET-302 from Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) to Nairobi (Kenya) with 149 passengers and 8 crew, departed Addis Ababa's runway 07R and was climbing out of Addis Ababa when the aircraft levelled off at about 9000 feet MSL, radar contact was lost shortly after at 08:44L (05:44Z). No survivors were found.

    The airline reported rescue and recovery forces are on their way to the crash site near Bishoftu (Ethiopia) about 17nm southsoutheast of Addis Ababa. The aircraft had departed Addis Ababa at 08:38L, radio and radar contact with the aircraft was lost at 08:44L.

    Ethiopia's states owned Broadcasting Corporation reported citing an unidentified spokesperson of Ethiopian Airlines, that no survivors have been found at the crash site. The aircraft carried citizens of 33 different countries.

    At 13:21L (11:21Z) Ethiopian Airlines reported they deeply regret the fatal accident involving ET-302. Their CEO just having arrived at the crash site regrets there have been no survivors and released a photo showing the CEO at an impact crater at the crash site.

    Ethiopia's Prime Minister expressed his deep condolences to the families who lost their loved ones.

    The last transponder data were received from position N9.027 E39.153 about 21nm east of Addis Ababa at FL086. Terrain elevation at that point is 8130 feet MSL, FL086 reported by the Mode-S Altimeter (which always measures to standard pressure 1013 QNH) corrected for QNH indicates the aircraft was flying at 9027 feet MSL at that position.

    Boeing stated with respect to flight ET-302 on Mar 10th 2019: "Boeing is aware of reports of an airplane accident and is closely monitoring the situation." At about 11:25Z Boeing followed up: "Boeing is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 MAX 8 airplane. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board and stand ready to support the Ethiopian Airlines team. A Boeing technical team is prepared to provide technical assistance at the request and under the direction of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board."

    Metars:
    HAAB 100600Z 07010KT 9999 FEW025 18/09 Q1029=
    HAAB 100500Z 06008KT 9999 FEW025 16/10 Q1029=
    HAAB 100400Z 06008KT 9999 FEW025 13/11 Q1028=
    HAAB 100300Z 07004KT 9999 FEW025 13/11 Q1028=
    HAAB 100100Z 09006KT 9999 FEW025 13/11 Q1027

    Attached photo:
    CEO of Ethiopian Airlines at the crash site (Photo: Ethiopian Airlines).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    The a/c appeared to climb to ~8200ft, then descend to ~7700ft, then climb again to 8600ft in timespan of about 90 seconds.

    I'm not a pilot, so no sure if that is atypical - though it represents a climb then ~7% altitude decline then ~11.5% altitude increase then a/c disappearance from radar.

    From layperson standpoint (me) it seems perhaps not typical (??) I defer to experts/pilots here.

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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Oh man, what's going on...

    Even if this turns out to be pure pilot error, the media coverage is going to be brutal for Boeing until the cause is determined. I think this might result in enough public pressure to ground the MAX for an extended period.

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    Senior Member Peter Kesternich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    (...) I think this might result in enough public pressure to ground the MAX for an extended period.
    And not just public but also industry pressure... At first flush, there seem to be similarities to the LionAir accident...

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    Quote Originally Posted by obmot View Post
    The a/c appeared to climb to ~8200ft, then descend to ~7700ft, then climb again to 8600ft in timespan of about 90 seconds.
    Could be indicative of a sudden loss of autoflight...

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    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    ...Even if this turns out to be pure pilot error...
    Some reason you didn't list explosive device or gross maintenance violation? We don't have a bias that pilots are procedure-skipping, improvisational cowboys, do we?
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Kesternich View Post
    At first flush, there seem to be similarities to the LionAir accident...
    We currently have statements that this has many differences from the LionAir accident.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    We currently have statements that this has many differences from the LionAir accident.
    Could you please give some more information if you have it, including sources... On avherald.com, there is nothing yet to indicate major differences...
    Last edited by Peter Kesternich; 03-10-2019 at 05:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Some reason you didn't list explosive device or gross maintenance violation?
    Maintenance could certainly be at fault, but the CEO has reported that the crew requested a return without declaring an emergency, so it doesn't read to me like an explosive event (or meteor strike). It reads more like a control problem or a systems problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Maintenance could certainly be at fault, but the CEO has reported that the crew requested a return without declaring an emergency, so it doesn't read to me like an explosive event (or meteor strike). It reads more like a control problem or a systems problem.
    CNN reports that the pilot called in technical problems and requested a return to the airport. That leads me to believe it was not a meteor or similar type of circumstance.

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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Looking at the ADS-B, it also doesn't look like a crew dealing with repeated trim runaway, as an MCAS issue would show. However, the end of the ADS-B data is possibly due to a loss of signal in that part of the world and there were obviously events that occurred beyond that point that led to the crash. The real danger with MCAS is that pulling the column back (the first instinctive reaction to runaway) no longer deactives the electric pitch trim, and pilots were not told this, so the flight control issue and related confusion can easily escalate.

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    Very early days, I know, but one difference between this and the Lion Air is that the latter aircraft had known flight anomalies on the previous flight or two, but this does not seem to have been the case with the Ethiopian.

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    BTW Flightradar plots may be misleading, the Bole Intl airport elevation is 7625 ft and the ADS-B was last seen at about 8200 ft.
    It seems to me they were climbing for just 15 seconds before the end of the plot, as if unaware of the raising terrain and/or their own altitude. Did the EGPWS (radalt) call come too late?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HalcyonDays View Post
    Very early days, I know, but one difference between this and the Lion Air is that the latter aircraft had known flight anomalies on the previous flight or two, but this does not seem to have been the case with the Ethiopian.
    True, but a sensor can suddenly fail. The reason the previous Lion Air flight didn't crash was due to correct pilot responses. We still don't know why the Lion Air sensor failed in the first place, but I'd place some money on the bathtub curve and maybe some supply-chain 'economy' choices. I'm expecting that the true story of the Boeing 737MAX will eventually come out and feature instances of corrosive pressure from on high regarding costs and schedule targets as told by reluctant engineers tasked with crutching a mid-20th-century airframe into the 21st-century.

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    China has apparently grounded all 737MAX aircraft... until 6pm local time?

    Quote Originally Posted by CNN
    The Civil Aviation Administration of China said in a statement on Monday morning that all domestic Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets would be out of action until 6 p.m. local time, due to its principle of "zero tolerance for safety hazards."
    Ok, zero tolerance until dinner time. I guess. Unless the investigation wraps this up before then. I guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Could be indicative of a sudden loss of autoflight...


    Thx Evan.

    I hesitate to ask what to most here will be a 'duh' type question - and self-spotlight my ignorance in asking - but in a 'typical' commercial flight, when would a flight crew 'typically' (ballparkish) activate the autopilot systems (I'm assuming autoflight in your comment is akin to autopilot/autothrust etc. but - again my ignorance might be at play again lol)?

    I mean would it 'typically' be like 30secs after wheels up? Or 5 minutes after? Etc.

    [edited for spelling typo]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    China has apparently grounded all 737MAX aircraft... until 6pm local time?
    A mistranslation I believe. The BBC is reporting that the Chinese government has instructed China Southern, China Eastern and Air China to halt all 737 MAX operations by 6pm local time.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47519929

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Looking at the ADS-B, it also doesn't look like a crew dealing with repeated trim runaway, as an MCAS issue would show. However, the end of the ADS-B data is possibly due to a loss of signal in that part of the world and there were obviously events that occurred beyond that point that led to the crash. The real danger with MCAS is that pulling the column back (the first instinctive reaction to runaway) no longer deactives the electric pitch trim, and pilots were not told this, so the flight control issue and related confusion can easily escalate.
    If there is any 737-MAX pilot that can be caught by surprise by the MCAS and not know how to handle it, after all the exposure that the Lion Air case had, such a person doesn't deserve to be a pilot.

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