A preliminary report following the flight accident in Ethiopia concludes that the aircraft’s anti-steep system was activated shortly before the crash, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper cites sources with knowledge of the investigation which has come to a preliminary conclusion about the cause.
The conclusion is the clearest hint so far that the system is the basis for both the accident in Ethiopia and the accident with a Lion Air aircraft of the same type in Indonesia last year.
157 people lost their lives, including Norwegian Karoline Aadland, when the Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane to Ethiopian Airlines crashed right after leaving Addis Ababa on March 10.
In October last year, 189 people lost their lives when a plane of the same model of Lion Air crashed into Indonesia because of the failure of the anti-steep system. All Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft are on the ground worldwide until further notice.
The suspicion that the same was behind the last accident was quickly aimed at the aircraft’s software to prevent the aircraft from stalling, and the aircraft’s tachograph and voice recorder were sent to France for analysis.
The US investigators emphasize that their conclusion is provisional. The Ethiopian authorities are expected to publish the results of their own investigation within a few days.
Boeing promised Wednesday that they will do all they can to prevent new accidents and have announced that the software will be updated on all 737 MAX aircraft.
Meanwhile, the US Civil Aviation Authority (FAA) has been criticized in Congress for its close links with Boeing, and the Ministry of Transport has begun investigating that the FAA entrusted some of the work to approve the MAX 8 aircraft to the manufacturer himself.