Faulty sensor reading ahead of Boeing crash – report

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A faulty sensor reading and activation of an anti-stall system on a Boeing 737 MAX preceded the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight in 2019 that killed 157 people, an interim report by government found.

The accident, following the 2018 crash of the same aircraft type in Indonesia killing 189 people, led to the grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX worldwide, wiped billions off the company’s value and sparked lawsuits from bereaved families.

Ethiopia’s report said two sensors recording the plane’s angle differed in their readings by 59 degrees. The erroneous reading was followed by activation of an anti-stall system known as MCAS which forced the plane’s nose downward, it said.

The Ethiopian interim report contrasts with a final report on the Lion Air crash released last October by Indonesia which faulted Boeing’s design of cockpit software on the 737 MAX and cited errors by airline workers and crew.

The US House Transportation Committee last week faulted the country’s Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) approval of the plane and Boeing’s design failures, saying the 737 MAX flights were “doomed”.